Dion in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)

An inhabitant of Syracuse, who became a disciple of Plato, invited to the court of Syracuse by the elder Dionysius. He was nearly connected with Dionysius by having married his daughter, and because his sister was one of his wives; and he was also much esteemed by him, so as to be employed on several embassies. At the accession of the younger Dionysius, Plato was again, at Dion's request, invited to Syracuse. (See Plato.) In order, however, to counteract his influence, the courtiers obtained the recall of Philistus, a man notorious for his adherence to arbitrary principles. This faction determined to supplant Dion, and availed themselves of a real or supposititious letter to fix on him the charge of treason. Dion, precluded from defence, was transported to Italy, and from thence proceeded to Greece, where he was received with great honour. Dionysius became jealous of his popularity in Greece, especially at Athens, stopped his remittances, confiscated his estates, and compelled his wife, who had been left at Syracuse as an hostage, to marry another person. Dion, incensed at this treatment, determined to expel the tyrant. Plato resisted his intentions; but, encouraged by other friends, he assembled a body of troops, and with a small force sailed to Sicily, took advantage of the absence of Dionysius in Italy, and freed the people from his control. Dionysius returned; but, after some conflicts, was compelled to escape to Italy. The austere and philosophic manners of Dion, however, soon lost him the favour of his countrymen, and he was supplanted by Heraclides, a Syracusan exile, and obliged to make his retreat to Leontini. He afterwards regained the ascendency and caused Heraclides to be assassinated, which robbed him ever after of his peace of mind. An Athenian, an intimate friend, formed a conspiracy against his life, and Dion was assassinated in the fifty-fifth year of his age, B.C. 354 (Diod. Sic. xvi. 6 foll.; Dion.; Corn. Nep. Dion).

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