Dionysius the Younger, fl. 368–344 B.C., tyrant of Syracuse, son of Dionysius the Elder. He ended the war with Carthage and enlisted the support of the professional army. Neither gifted nor trained for administration or warfare, his banishment of Dion of Syracuse destroyed his only valid chance of maintaining his influence. In 357 B.C. the Syracusans welcomed Dion, who came to avenge his family for the ill-treatment they had received, and Dionysius fled. The murder of Dion gave Dionysius the opportunity to reestablish himself in his native city, whence he was finally expelled by Timoleon in 344 B.C. The remainder of his life was spent chiefly in Corinth, where he is said to have been a teacher of rhetoric. He wrote poetry and philosophy and was a patron of the arts. Dion, with Plato's backing, had attempted to fashion him into the model philosopher king, but failed. Subsequently Dionysius expelled Plato from his court.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.