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Theron of Acragas
(ca 535 - 473 BC) Italy

sicilian coin

Tyrant

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Theron, son of Aenesidamus was a Greek tyrant of the town of Acragas in Sicily (modern Agrigento) from 488 to 472 BC. He soon became an ally of Gelo, who at that time controlled Gela, and from 485 BC Syracuse. Allied with Gelon, the powerful despot of Syracuse. Together they defeated an invading Carthaginian army at Himera in 480. Theron was also known as a patron of the arts. Gelo later became Theron's son-in-law.

Theron went to war with the city of Selinunte and the tyrant of Himera, Terillus. The latter, expelled from his city, therefore sought an alliance with Carthage through his son-in-law Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium. Theron occupied Himera but was then besieged in this city by a Carthaginian army, assisted by Terillus. In 480 BC, Theron, with the support of Gelo, won a great victory outside the walls of Himera against the Carthaginians and their allies.

During the reign of Theron, Acragas along with Syracuse and Selinunte formed a kind of "triumvirate" which dominated Greek Sicily at the time. Theron died in 473 BC and was briefly succeeded by his son Thrasydaeus, before he was defeated by Gelo's brother and successor, Hiero I. After that defeat, Acragas came under the control of Syracuse.

Pindar dedicates two Olympian odes, 2 & 3, to Theron, both for the same victory in the chariot race at the Olympic Games of 476 B.C. The poet Simonides of Ceos was also active at Theron's court.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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