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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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Synchronicity: the local and the panhellenic within Sicilian tyranny

Synchronicity: the local and the panhellenic within Sicilian tyranny

(p.119) Chapter 8 Synchronicity: the local and the panhellenic within Sicilian tyranny
Ancient Tyranny

Sarah E. Harrell

Edinburgh University Press

In book 7 of Histories, Herodotus notes that the battle between the Greeks and Carthaginians at Himera, in Sicily, occurred on the very same day as the battle between the Greeks and Persians at Salamis in 480 BC. Herodotus has just noted that (again according to the Sicilians), Gelon would have aided the Greek alliance at Salamis if the two battles had not been simultaneous. Herodotus relates the battle to the allied Greek defence of their homeland against the barbarian attack led by the Persian king Xerxes. While accepted by some ancient authors as fact, the idea of such a ‘synchronicity’ appears highly improbable to modern eyes. This chapter examines how the synchronicity represents a tension within Herodotus' Sicilian narrative between the local and the panhellenic nature of the fifth-century Deinomenid tyranny. It discusses the historiographic tradition created by the Deinomenids around Gelon's victory at Himera, showing how the tyrants negotiated local and panhellenic identities through careful use of history, dedications and poetry.

Keywords:   Histories, Herodotus, Himera, Sicily, Gelon, tyranny, Deinomenids, battles, tyrants, poetry

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