The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Sosfstratus – Sosis – Sositheus



themselves masters of the city with the exception of the citadel, in which Andranodorus, the governor left there by Hieronymus, had fortified himself. The next day an assembly of the people was held, in which Sosis and Theodotus were among those chosen as generals or praetors, and Andranodorus was soon after induced to surrender the citadel. (Liv. xxiv. 21—23). Shortly after, he was ap­ pointed, together with Deinomenes, to command the army sent to the relief of Leontini, but arriving too late to save that city, which had already fallen into the power of Marcellus, they turned their arms against the traitors Hippocrates and Epicydes, who had taken refuge at Herbessus. Their object was, however, again frustrated by the mutiny of their mercenary troops, who declared in favour of the t\vo Carthaginians, and the latter, following up their advantage, quickly made themselves masters of Syracuse itself. (Id. ib. 30—32.) Sosis on this occasion escaped the fate of most of his col­ leagues, and fled for refuge to the camp of Marcel­ lus, with whom he continued throughout the long- protracted siege of his native city. In the course of these operations he rendered important assist­ ance to the Roman general by carrying on negotia­ tions with the Syracusan officers, and by leading the party which effected the surprise of the Epi- polae. For these services he was rewarded by a conspicuous place in the ovation of Marcellus, b. c. 211, besides obtaining the privileges of a Roman citizen and .an extensive grant of lands in the Syracusan territory. (Id. xxv. 25, xxvi. 21, 30.). [E. H. B.]

SOSIS (5eo<m), a Sicilian medallist, whose name appears, in the abbreviated form 2H5, on the front of the diadem of a female head, which is the type of a small Syracusan medallion ; and also in full, Sn^rS, on a medal of Gelon II. in the Pembroke cabinet. The admission of this name into the list of ancient artists is, however, a matter of contro­ versy. (R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn^ pp. 96, 97.) [P. S.]

SOSFSTRATUS (Sworfcrrpa-ros). 1. A Syra­cusan, who shared with Heracleides in the chief direction of the affairs of his native country, a few years previous to the elevation of Agathocles. The account given by Diodorus of the steps by which they had raised themselves to power is lost, but that author tells us in general terms that they were men accustomed to treachery, bloodshed, and every species of crime. (Diod. xix. 3, and Wes-seiing, ad loc.) We find them both holding the joint command of an expedition sent by the Syra-eusans to assist the Crotoniats against the Bruttians, as well as of a subsequent armament which laid siege to Rhegium; but Sosistratus appears to have held the first place, and we soon after find him spoken of as having raised himself to the rank of tyrant or absolute ruler of Syracuse. The revolu­tion, by which he effected this, appears to have been connected with a victory of the oligarchical party in the city, but their triumph was of short duration, and Sosistratus himself was. soon after expelled from Syracuse together with 600 of the leading men of the aristocratical party. War now arose between the democratic party, who remained in possession of Syracuse, and the exiles, in which the latter, supported by assistance from the Car­thaginians, were not only able to maintain their ground, but, after many vicissitudes of fortune, procured their recal to their native city. It is


doubtful whether Sosistratus himself was included in the accommodation which appears to have re­instated the oligarchy in the chief power, as his name does not occur in the revolutions which fol­lowed, and which ended in the elevation of Aga­thocles, b. c. 317. (Diod. xix. 3—5.) At a sub­sequent period however (b. c. 314) we find him mentioned as one of the most active and able of the Syracusan exiles assembled at Agrigentum, who from thence carried on war against Agathocles ; and the prominent place which he occupied at this time directed against him the especial enmity of the Spartan Acrotatus, who in consequence contrived to remove him by assassination. (Diod. xix. 71.) It is singular that Polyaenus (v. 37) seems to represent Sosistratus as acquiring the sovereign power after Agathocles, instead of before him : but the circumstances related by him are wholly irreconcilable with the narrative of Diodorus. (Compare also Trog. Pomp. Prol. xxi.)

2. A Syracusan who, together with thoenon or thynion, for a time held the supreme power in his native city, during the interval of confusion which preceded the arrival of Pyrrhus. After the expulsion of Hicetas (about B. c. 279), Thyniou alone is mentioned as succeeding him in the chief direction of affairs, but we soon after find Sosistra­tus dividing with him the power. Our imperfect accounts however give us very little idea of the real state of affairs. It appears that Sosistratus and Thynion both relied upon the support of foreign mercenaries: and were engaged in civil war with one another, in which the former had the advantage, and occupied the city of Syracuse, while Thynion fortified himself in the island citadel. Sosistratus was also master of Agrigentum and not less than thirty other cities, and found himself at the head of a force of 10,000 troops, so that he would probably have crushed his rival, had it not been for the arrival of the Carthaginians, who laid siege to S}rracuse both by sea and land. Thus oppressed at once by civil dissensions and external enemies, both parties implored the assistance of Pyrrhus, and on his arrival Sosistratus surrendered the city into his hands, and Thynion the citadel. A reconcilia­tion was now effected between the rivals, who thenceforth supported Pyrrhus with their joint efforts ; and Sosistratus placed all the cities and troops at his disposal in the hands of the king, while he assisted him in recovering Agrigentum, which had fallen into the hands of the Carthagi­nians. For these services however, he met with no gratitude ; the arrogance of Pyrrhus having alienated the minds of all the Sicilians and ren­dered the king in return suspicious of all the lead­ing men among them, -he took an opportunity to put Thynion to death, and Sosistratus narrowly escaped sharing the same fate. His name is not again mentioned. .(Diod. xxii. Exc. Hoesckel. p. 495—497 ; Dion. Hal. Exc. xix. 6—8, pp. 2360—-2362, ed Reiske ; Plut. Pywh. 23.)

The name is written Sostratus in many manu-


scripts and editions, but the form Sosistratus appears to be the more correct. [E. H. B.J

SOSITHEUS (2co<n'0eos), of Syracuse or Athens, or rather, according to Suidas, of Alexan-dreia in the Troad, was a distinguished tragic poet, one of the Tragic Pleiad, and the antagonist of the tragic poet Homer: he flourished about 01. 124 (b. c. 284) ; and wrote both in poetry and in prose. (Suid. s. v.) He is also mentioned among the

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of