Ducetius and fifth-century Sicilian tyranny

Trinity Jackman

in Ancient Tyranny

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2006 | ISBN: 9780748621255
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651047 | DOI:
Ducetius and fifth-century Sicilian tyranny

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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

Chapter.  5897 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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