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Historical Overview Section

Syracuse was founded by Greek Corinthians as the Greek Cities were expanding their influence to other areas of the Mediterranean in step with the expansion of sea-borne trade. Syracuse' location meant it became a very powerful city-state, forming a ever-shifting pattern of alliances with powers including Sparta and Corinth and exerting influence over the entire Magna Grecia (Greek-speaking southern Italy) area of which it was the most important city. Unlike many democratically governed Greek city states, Syracuse was usually controlled by powerful Tyrants or Despots, one of the first of which, gelo clashed succesfully with the Carthaginians around 480BC. Gelon was succedeed by his brother Hiero, who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC. The city continued to expand in Sicily, fighting against the rebellious Siculi, and on the Tyrrhenian Sea, making expeditions up to Corsica and Elba. In the late 5th century BC, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens, which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War. The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta, Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, and leave them to starve on the island. In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 3,000 hoplites and a general to aid Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand in the battle for Persian succession.

Successive Tyrants (interrupted only by the rule of a democratic government under Timoleon installed in 345 BC) fought successive wars against Carthage as their sphere's of influence repeatedly clashed, which in 275 led to the citizens of Syracuse calling on Pyrrhus of Epirus for help. This didn;t work out quite as they hoped, and after a brief period under the rule of Epirus, Hiero II seized power in 275 BC ushering in an era of prosperity that was to last some 50 years. Hiero's successor, the young Hieronymus (ruled from 215 BC), broke an alliance with the Romans forge by Hiero (possibly seeing advantage in challenging them after the Romans defeat at the Battle of Cannae) and aallied instead with Carthage. The Romans, led by consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus besieged the city in 214 BC. The city held out for three years, but fell in 212 BC. It is believed to have fallen due to a peace party opening a small door in the wall to negotiate a peace, but the Romans charged through the door and took the city, killing the most famous resident Archimedes in the process. After conquest Syracuse maintained the status of capital of the Roman government of Sicily and seat of the praetor. It remained an important port for the trades between the Eastern and the Western parts of the Empire

The Tyrants of Syracuse: 480-367 BC v. 1: War in Ancient Sicily by Jeffrey Champion

This book, released in September 2010, is the story of one of the most important classical cities, Syracuse, and its struggles (both internal and external) for freedom and survival. Situated at the heart of the mediterranean, Syracuse was caught in the middle as Carthage, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Athens and then Rome battled to gain control of Sicily. The threat of expansionist enemies on all sides made for a tumultuous situation within the city, resulting in repeated coups that threw up a series of remarkable tyrants, such as Gelon, Timoleon and Dionysius. In this first volume Jeff Champion traces the course of Syracuse's wars under the tyrants from the Battle of Himera (480 BC) against the Carthaginians down to the death of Dionysius I (367 BC), whose reign proved to be the high tide of the city's power and influence. One of the highlights along the way is the city's heroic resistance to, and eventual decisive defeat of, the Athenian expeditionary force that besieged them for over two years (415-413BC), an event with massive ramifications for the Greek world. This is the eventful life story of one of the forgotten major powers of the ancient Mediterranean world.

Using the army in FoG

include your tactical tips or advice in here

UK Tournament Results with this army

19 / 25 Syracusan Roll Call 2008 15mm (IF)

User-contributed links about this army:

  • Syracusan DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
  • Syracusans DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
  • Syracusans DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
  • Syracusans DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
  • Syracuse DBA Figure Gallery for this army - from Fanaticus
  • Syracusan Army Guide history, and painting and collecting guide


  • Greek, Kyrenean : Date restrictions 310 BC to 207 BC Book: Immortal Fire Page: 22 - 4 Heavy Chariots could be fun, but more spearmen is a bit dull
  • Libyan, Late : Date restrictions 310 BC to 207 BC Book: Immortal Fire Page: 24 - 8 Light Chariots? Well, in period they can frighten enemy Cavalry & LH…
  • Numidian - Numidian or Early Moorish : Date restrictions 310 BC to 207 BC Book: Rise of Rome Page: 38 - The LH arent that good, but the LF being allowed to be in BGs of 4 makes this ally quite compelling as at 16 points per unit they can boost your unit count and replace your own LF in the battle line

15mm Manufacturers supplying figures for this army

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You can see some of the figures in the Hoplite Photo Gallery also on this site

Core Troops

Which troops are absolutely needed for this army, and what are your thoughts on how to organise, paint and buy them.

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

Name of Army / Date

  • Using asterisks inthe edit mode creates a bulleted list in the actual site
  • This is a lot easier to do than easier than setting up tables
  • For FoG I suggest listing your army in order or march
  • with troop desctiptions on each line, for example
  • 4 HF Armoured Average Drilled Impact Foot Swordsmen
  • 8 LG Undrilled Unarmoured Poor Bowen
  • Dont forget to include your Generals !!!

Include any notes you want here, including comments on how to use - or play against - the army.

Remember to leave a line before you copy the above section as a template for your own list

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