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Gelon (* around 540 BC; † 478 BC ) was in the 5th century BC. BC Regent ( tyrant ) in Gela and Syracuse . He was the son of Deinomenes and thus from the Deinomeniden family .

After the death of Hippocrates , tyrant of Gela in 491 BC. He was followed by Gelon, previously the commander of the cavalry . 488/487 BC He was the winner in the chariot race at the Olympic Games . 485 BC He used the call for help of the Gamoren (the oligarchical landowners) of Syracuse, who had been driven out by the population, to make himself master of the city.

From now on he no longer devoted his time to Gela (which he gave to his brother Hieron ), but to the expansion of Syracuse, which now attained extraordinary wealth and influence. He strengthened the city and his power there by relocating half of the inhabitants of Gela there and expanding the army and the navy. When the Greeks in 480 BC Chr. Begged his help against Xerxes , he rejected them because they did not want to give him command of the Allied forces ( Herodotus vii. 161).

In the same year the Carthaginians invaded Sicily , but were defeated in the Battle of Himera by Gelon and his father-in-law Theron , the tyrant of Akragas (and father of Damarete ), with the result that Gelon became master of the whole island. After he had secured his power, he pretended to want to resign, which was rejected by the majority, so that he was subsequently until his death in 478 BC. BC could rule without opposition.

He was revered as a hero and so dearly held in memory that an exception was made for him when 150 years later, in the time of Timoleon , the brass statues of the tyrants were to be sold.



Web links

Commons : Gelon  - collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
--- Tyrant of Syracuse
485–478 BC Chr.
Hieron I.