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Headword: Ἱερώνυμος
Adler number: iota,200
Translated headword: Hieronymos, Hieronymus
Vetting Status: high
This man was a tyrant.
Some of the historians who wrote about his overthrow have described exhaustively the terrible things that occurred in connection with his overthrow, saying, for instance, that no tyrant, not Phalaris, not Apollodorus,[1] not any other, was more harsh than he. He acquired power while still a child, then, after living no more than three or twelve months,[2] departed this life. It is possible that at that time one or two people were tortured and even some of his friends and other Syracusans killed, but it is not likely that there was a overarching excess of lawlessness or surpassing impiety. And it must be said that in his behavior he became especially erratic and abnormal, but not so as to make it worthwhile to compare him with any of the aforementioned tyrants. But it seems to me that those who write history in small bits, or when they take on strictly limited and narrow subjects, are compelled by the poverty of their material to make small things large and to compose a lot of verbiage about things that are unworthy of mention. Some even fall into traps very similar to these through sheer lack of discernment. How much more judicious it would be to divert someone who was filling out his scrolls and planning out the course of his narrative on these matters toward Hieron and Gelon,[3] and to leave Hieronymos out of it. For this is more pleasant for serious listeners and more useful in every respect for serious students.
Greek Original:
Ἱερώνυμος: τύραννος γέγονεν οὗτος. τινὲς δὲ τῶν λογογράφων τῶν ὑπὲρ τῆς καταστροφῆς αὐτοῦ γεγραφότων πολύν τινα πεποίηνται λόγον καὶ τῶν δεινῶν τῶν περὶ τὴν καταστροφὴν αὐτοῦ συμβάντων, ὥστε μήτε Φάλαριν μήτ' Ἀπολλόδωρον μήτ' ἄλλον μηδένα γεγονέναι τύραννον ἐκείνου πικρότερον. καὶ παῖς παραλαβὼν τὴν ἀρχήν, εἶτα μῆνας οὐ πλείω τριῶν ἢ δώδεκα ζήσας μετήλλαξε τὸν βίον. κατὰ δὲ τὸν χρόνον τοῦτον ἕνα μέν τινα καὶ δεύτερον ἐστρεβλῶσθαι καί τινας τῶν φίλων καὶ τῶν ἄλλων Συρακουσίων ἀπεκτάνθαι δυνατόν, ὑπερβολὴν δὲ γεγονέναι παρανομίας καὶ παρηλλαγμένην ἀσέβειαν οὐκ εἰκός. καὶ τῷ μὲν τρόπῳ διαφερόντως εἰκαῖον αὐτὸν γεγονέναι καὶ παράνομον φατέον, οὐ μὴν εἴς γε σύγκρισιν ἀκτέον οὐδενὶ τῶν προειρημένων τυράννων. ἀλλά μοι δοκοῦσιν οἱ τὰς ἐπὶ μέρους γράφοντες πράξεις, ἐπειδὰν ὑποθέσεις εὐπεριλήπτους ὑποστήσωνται καὶ στενάς, πτωχεύοντες πραγμάτων ἀναγκάζεσθαι τὰ μικρὰ μεγάλα ποιεῖν καὶ περὶ τῶν μηδὲ μνήμης ἀξίων πολλούς τινας διατίθεσθαι λόγους. ἔνιοι δὲ καὶ δι' ἀκρισίαν εἰς τὸ παραπλήσιον τούτοις ἐμπίπτουσιν. ὅσῳ γὰρ ἄν τις εὐλογώτερον καὶ περὶ ταῦτα τὸν ἀναπληροῦντα τὰς βίβλους καὶ τὸν ἐπιμετροῦντα λόγον τῆς διηγήσεως εἰς Ἱέρωνα καὶ Γέλωνα διάγοιτο, παρεὶς Ἱερώνυμον. καὶ γὰρ τοῖς φιληκόοις ἡδίων οὗτος καὶ τοῖς φιλομαθέσι τῷ παντὶ χρησιμώτερος.
After the initial clause, this entry is an approximation of Polybius 7.7 (as preserved in Constantine Porphyrogenitus, On Virtues and Vices 2.102.20-2.103.20). More precisely: the first part, from "Some of the historians..." down to "...departed this life" is a rather loose version of Polybius 7.7.1-3; the rest is almost a verbatim copy.
Hieronymos was tyrant in Syracuse from 215 to 214 BCE; cf. Livy 24.4-5, and see the note to iota 199 (and under epsilon 2426).
[1] For Phalaris, tyrant of Akragas in the C6 BCE, see generally phi 43. For Apollodoros, tyrant of Kassandreia in the C3 BCE, see e.g. Diodorus Siculus 22.5.2 and other passages in F.W. Walbank, Commentary on Polybius ii.40. Both were proverbial for their cruelty.
[2] Polybius 7.1.3 says, more intelligibly, "thirteen months".
[3] "Good" Sicilian tyrants (of the early C5 BCE).
Keywords: biography; children; chronology; ethics; geography; historiography; history; politics
Translated by: William Hutton on 12 October 2001@15:01:47.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 15 October 2001@07:21:52.
David Whitehead (x-ref; typo) on 19 June 2005@05:06:34.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 April 2006@03:47:58.
David Whitehead (another x-ref and keyword; tweaking) on 9 January 2013@09:36:54.
David Whitehead (tweaked primary note; more keywords; cosmetics) on 26 April 2016@05:14:09.


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