The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Hermocrates – Hermocreon

418

HERMOCRATES.

Athenians themselves to defer their departure for two days, a delay which proved fatal to the whole army. (Thuc. vii. 21, 73 ; Diod. xiii. 18 ; Plut. Nic. 26.) Thucydides makes no mention of the part taken by Hermocrates in regard to the Athe­nian prisoners, but both Diodoras and Plutarch represent him as exerting all his influence with his countrymen, though unsuccessfully, to save the lives of Nicias and Demosthenes. According to a statement of Timaeus, preserved by the latter au­thor, when he found all his efforts fruitless, he gave a private intimation to the two generals that they might anticipate the ignominy of a public ex­ecution by a voluntary death. (Diod. xiii. 19; Plut. Me. 28.)

After the destruction of the Athenian armament in Sicily, Hermocrates employed all his influence with his countrymen to induce them to support with vigour their allies the Lacedaemonians in the war in Greece itself. But he only succeeded in prevailing upon them to send a squadron of twenty triremes (to which the Selinuntians added two more) ; and with this small force he himself, with two colleagues in the command, joined the Lace­daemonian fleet under Astyochus, before the close of the summer of 412. (Thuc. viii. 26 ; Diodorus, however, raises the number of the ships to thirty-five, xiii. 34.) But, trifling as this succour ap­pears, the Syracusan squadron bore an important part in many of the subsequent operations, and particularly in the action off Cynossema, in which it formed the right wing of the Lacedaemonian fleet; and though unable to prevent the defeat of its allies, escaped with the loss of only one ship. (Thuc. viii. 104—106 ; Diod. xiii. 39.) It is pro­bably of this action that Polybius was thinking, when he states {Frag. Vat. xii. 23) that Hermo­crates was present at the battle of Aegos Potamoi, which is clearly erroneous. During these services Hermocrates, we are told, conciliated in the highest degree the favour both of the allies and of his own troops ; and acquired such popularity with the latter, that when (in 409 B. c.) news arrived that he as well as his colleagues had been sentenced to banishment by a decree of the Syracusan people, and new commanders appointed to replace them, the officers and crews of the squadron not only insisted on their retaining the command until the actual arrival of their successors, but many of them offered their services to Hermocrates to effect his restoration to his country. He however urged the duty of obedience to the laws ; and, after handing over the squadron to the new generals, repaired to Lacedaemon to counteract the intrigues of Tissa-phernes, to whom he had given personal offence. From thence he returned to Asia, to the court of Pharnabazus, who furnished him with money to build ships and raise mercenary troops, for the pur­pose of effecting his return to Syracuse. (Xen. Hett. i. 1. § 27—31; Thuc. viii. 85; Diod. xiii. 63.) With a force of five triremes and 1000 soldiers, he sailed to Messana, and from thence in conjunc­tion with the refugees from Himera, and, with the co-operation of his own party in-Syracuse, attempted to bring about a revolution in that city. But fail­ing in that scheme, he hastened to Selinus, at this time still in ruins, after its destruction by the Car­thaginians, rebuilt a part of the city, and collected thither its refugees from all parts of Sicily. He thus converted it into a stronghold, from whence he carried on hostilities against the Carthaginian

HERMOCREON.

allies, laid waste the territories of Motya and Pa-normus, and defeated the Panormitans in a battle. By these means he acquired great fame and popu­larity, which were still increased when in the fol­lowing year (b. c. 407) he repaired to Himera, and finding that the bones of the Syracusans who had been slain in battle against the Carthaginians two years before still lay there unburied, caused them to be gathered up, and removed with all due fune­ral honours to Syracuse. But, though the revulsion of feeling thus excited led to the banishment of Diocles, and other leaders of the opposite party yet the sentence of exile against Hermocrates stiL remained unreversed. Not long afterwards he ap­proached Syracuse with a considerable force, and was admitted by some of his friends into the city ; but was followed in the first instance only by a select band, which the Syracusans no sooner dis­covered than they took up arms, and attacked and slew him, together with the greater part of his fol­lowers, before his troops could come to their assist­ance. (Diod. xiii. 63, 75.) The character of Hermocrates is one of the brightest and purest in the history of Syracuse ; and the ancient republics present few more striking instances of moderation and wisdom, combined with the most steady pa­triotism ; while his abilities, both as a statesman and a warrior, were such as to earn for him the praise of being ranked in after ages as on a level in these respects with Timoleon and Pyrrhus. (Polyb. Frag. Vat. xii. 22.) We do not learn that Her­mocrates left a son ; his daughter was married, after his death, to the tyrant Dionysius. (Diod. xiii. 96 ; Plut. Dim. 3.)

2. Father of Dionysius the elder, tyrant of Sy­racuse.

3. A Rhodian, who, according to Plutarch, was sent by Artaxerxes Mnemon to Greece, during the expedition of Agesilaus in Asia, to gain over the other states of Greece by large bribes, and thus compel the Spartans to recal Agesilaus. (Plut. Artax. 20.) There can be little doubt that the same person is meant who is called by Xenophon (Hell. iii. 5. § 1) Timocrates, and who was sent, it appears, not by the king himself, but by the satrap Tithraustes. [E. H. B.]

HERMOCRATES ('E^uo/c^-o^). 1. A dis­ciple of Socrates, mentioned by Xenophon (Mem. i. 2. § 48) as one of those whose character and conduct refuted the charge brought against Socrates of corrupting those who associated with him.

2. A rhetorician, a native of Phocaea. He was the grandson of the sophist Attains, and studied under Claudius Rufinus of Smyrna. He died at the age of twenty-five, or twenty-eight, according to other accounts. Philostratus ( Vit. Sophist, ii. 25) pronounces him one of the most distinguished rhetoricians of his age. (Fabric. Bill. Grace, vol. vi. p. 131.)

3. A grammarian, a native of lasus. Nothing more is known of him than that he was the instructor of Callimachus. [callimachus.] [C. P. M.]

HERMOCRATES ('Eftuo/cpaTTjs), a physician mentioned by Martial in one of his epigrams (vi. 53), the point of which seems to be borrowed from one by Lucilius in the Greek Anthology (xi. 257, vol. ii. p. 59, ed. Tauchn.) If the name is not a fictitious one, Hermocrates may have lived in the first century after Christ. [W. A. G.j

HERMOCREON ("EpyoKptw), an architect and sculptor, was the builder of a gigantic and

Pages
About | First

417

418

419
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.