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Ancient Tyranny$
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Sian Lewis

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621255

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621255.001.0001

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Ducetius and fifth-century Sicilian tyranny

Ducetius and fifth-century Sicilian tyranny

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter 3 Ducetius and fifth-century Sicilian tyranny
Source:
Ancient Tyranny
Author(s):

Trinity Jackman

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621255.003.0015

Ducetius, a native Sicel, created a synteleia, or federation, that at its height controlled a large portion of east-central Sicily. Yet, although the corpus of work that aims to decipher Ducetius' ethnic identity continues to grow, political historians — who generally pass over Ducetius completely in discussions of Sicilian tyranny — have ignored the broader implications of his territorial and political conquests. This chapter first gives a brief account of the life of Ducetius as recounted by Diodorus Siculus. It then examines the nature of Ducetius' synteleia and his role in Sicel politics, arguing that his importance in Sicel state-formation is often overemphasised. It also places Ducetius in the context of current discussions of the ‘Hellenisation’ of native peoples. Finally, the chapter locates Ducetius' synteleia within the trend towards the creation of multi-poleis states and alliances in Sicily, and suggests that redistributing land, relocating populations and refounding cities were not actions limited to Greek tyrants, but a response to the political realities of fifth-century Sicily.

Keywords:   Ducetius, tyrants, tyranny, Sicily, synteleia, Diodorus Siculus, politics, ethnic identity, Hellenisation, native peoples

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