Biographies GELA (Ancient city) SICILY - GTP - Greek Travel Pages
gtp logo

Location information

Listed 12 sub titles with search on: Biographies for destination: "GELA Ancient city SICILY".

Biographies (12)

Historic figures


   Gelon. A native of Gela in Sicily, who rose from the station of a private citizen to be supreme ruler of Gela and Syracuse. He was descended from an ancient family, which originally came from Telos, an island off the coast of Caria, and settled at Gela, when it was first colonized by the Rhodians. During the time that Hippocrates reigned at Gela (B.C. 498-491), Gelon was appointed commander of the cavalry, and greatly distinguished himself in the various wars which Hippocrates carried on against the Grecian cities in Sicily. On the death of Hippocrates, who fell in battle against the Siculi, Gelon seized the supreme power (B.C. 491). Soon afterwards a more splendid prize fell in his way. The nobles and landholders (gamoroi) of Syracuse, who had been driven from the city by an insurrection of their slaves, supported by the rest of the people, applied to Gelon for assistance. This crafty leader, gladly availing himself of the opportunity of extending his dominions, marched to Syracuse, into which he was admitted by the popular party (B.C. 485), who had not the means of resisting so formidable an opponent. Having thus become master of Syracuse, he appointed his brother Hiero governor of Gela, and exerted all his endeavours to promote the prosperity of his new acquisition. In order to increase the population of Syracuse, he destroyed Camarina, and removed all its inhabitants, together with a great number of the citizens of Gela, to his favourite city. By his various conquests and his great abilities, he became a very powerful monarch; and therefore, when the Greeks expected the invasion of Xerxes, ambassadors were sent by them to Syracuse, to secure, if possible, his assistance in the war. Gelon promised to send to their aid two hundred triremes, twenty thousand heavyarmed troops, two thousand cavalry, and six thousand light-armed troops, provided the supreme command were given to him. This offer being indignantly rejected by the Lacedaemonian and Athenian ambassadors, Gelon sent, according to Herodotus, an individual named Cadmus to Delphi, with great treasures, and with orders to present them to Xerxes if he proved victorious in the coming war. This statement, however, was denied by the Syracusans, who said that Gelon would have assisted the Greeks, if he had not been prevented by an invasion of the Carthaginians, with a force amounting to three hundred thousand men, under the command of Hamilcar. This great army was entirely defeated near Himera by Gelon and Theron, monarch of Agrigentum, on the same day, according to Herodotus, on which the battle of Salamis was fought. An account of this expedition is also given by Diodorus Siculus, who states that the battle between Gelon and the Carthaginians was fought on the same day as that at Thermopylae. There seems, indeed, to have been a regular understanding between Xerxes and the Carthaginians, in accordance with which the latter were to attack the Greeks in Sicily, while the Persian monarch was to move down upon Attica and the Peloponnesus.
   Gelon appears to have used with moderation the power which he had acquired by violence, and to have endeared himself to the Syracusans by his just government, and by the encouragement he gave to commerce and the fine arts. Plutarch states that the Syracusans would not allow his statues to be destroyed together with those of the other tyrants, when Timoleon became master of the city ( Timol.). He died B.C. 478, and was succeeded by his brother Hiero.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Dec 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Antiphemus of Rhodes

Antiphemus (Antiphemos), the Rhodian, founder of Gela, B. C. 690. The colony was composed of Rhodians and Cretans, the latter led by Entimus the Cretan (Thuc. vi. 4, and Schol. ad Pind. Ol. ii. 14), the former chiefly from Lindus (Herod. vii. 153), and to this town Antiphemus himself (Philostephanus, ap. Athen. vii.) belonged. From the Etym. Magn. (s. v. Gela) and Aristaenetus in Steph. Byzantinus (s. v. Gela) it appears the tale ran, that he and his brother Lacius, the founder of Phaselis, were, when at Delphi, suddenly bid to go forth, one eastward, one westward; and from his laughing at the unexpected response, the city took its name. From Pausanias (viii. 46.2) we hear of his taking the Sicanian town of Omphace, and carrying off from it a statue made by Daedalus Muller considers him a mythical person.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Endimus of Crete

Gela was founded by Antiphemus from Rhodes and Entimus from Crete, who joined in leading a colony thither, in the forty-fifth year after the foundation of Syracuse. The


Archestratus, writer, 4th c. B.C.

Archestratus (Archestratos). A poet of Gela, in Sicily, who flourished about B.C. 318, and composed the humorous didatic poem Hedupatheia (Good Cheer), supposed to describe a gastronomic tour round the then known world, with playful echoes of Homer and the dogmatic philosophers. The numerous fragments display much talent and wit. It was imitated in Latin by Ennius.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Dec 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Archestratus (Archestratos), of Gela or Syracuse (Athen. i.), but more usually described as a native of Gela, appears to have lived about the time of the younger Dionysius. He travelled through various countries in order to become accurately acquainted with every thing which could be used for tht table; and gave the results of his rescarches in an Epic poem en the Art of Coolkery, which was celebrated in antiquity, and is constantly referred to by Athenaeus. In no part of the Hellenic world was the art of good living carried to such an extent as in Sicily (the Siculae dapes, Hor. Carrm. iii. 1. 18, became proverbial); and Terpsion, who is described as a teacher of Archestratus, had already written a work on the Art of Cookery (Athen. viii.). The work of Archestratus is cited by the ancients under five different titles: Gastrologia, Gastronomia, Opsopoiia, Deipnologia, and Hedupatheia. Ennius wrote an imitation or translation of this poem under the title of Carmina Hedypathelica or Hedypathica (Apul. Apol). Archestratus delivered his precepts in the style and with the gravity of the old gnomic poets, whence he is called in joke the Hesiod or Theognis of gluttons, and his work is referred to as the " Golden Verses," like those of Pythagoras (Athen. vii.). His description of the various natural objects used for the table was so accurate, that Aristotle made use of his work in giving an account of the natural history of fishes. The extant fragments have been collected and explained by Schneider, in his edition of Aristotle's Natural History, and also by Domenico Scina, under the title of " Iframmenti della Gastronomia di Archestrato raccolti e volgarizzati", Palermo, 1823..

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Ancient comedy playwrites

Apollodorus, 4th c. B.C.

Apollodorus of Gela in Sicily, was, according to Suidas and Eudocia, a contemporary of Menander, and accordingly lived between the years B. C. 340 and 290. Suidas and Eudocia attribute to him seven comedies, of which they give the titles. But while Suidas (s. v. Apollodoros) ascribes them to Apollodorus of Gela, he assigns one of these same comedies in another passage (s. v. spoudazo) to the Carystian. Other writers too frequently confound the two comic poets.



Cleander (Kleandros). A tyrant of Gela, who reigned B.C. 504-498 and was succeeded by his brother Hippocrates, whom Gelon deposed in B.C. 491.

Eucleides, Euclides

Eucleides. One of the sons of Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela. It was in suppressing a revolt of the Geloans against Eucleides and his brother, which broke out on the death of Hippocrates, that Gelon managed to get the sovereignty into his own hands, B. C. 491. (Herod. vii. 155.)


Hippocrates, despot of Gela, son of Pantares: Hdt. 7.154, his capture of Zancle: Hdt. 6.23

Hippocrates. Tyrant of Gela, was the son of Pantares, and succeeded his brother Cleander, who had ruled over Gela as tyrant during seven years, B. C. 498. Hence he found his power already firmly established at Gela, and soon extended it by numerous wars against the other cities of Sicily, in which he was almost uniformly successful. Callipolis, Naxos, and Leontini, besides several smaller places, successively fell under his yoke. Being called in by the people of Zancle to assist them against the Samians, who had made themselves masters of their city by treachery, he suddenly turned against his allies, threw their king Scythes into chains, and reduced the mass of the people into slavery, while he gave up three hundred of the principal citizens to the mercy of the Samians, whom he allowed to retain possession of Zancle, in consideration of receiving half the booty they had found there. He also made war upon the Syracusans, whom he defeated in a great battle at the river Helorus, and appears even to have threatened Syracuse itself, as we hear of his encamping by the well-known temple of the Olympian Zeus, in the immediate neighbourhood of that city. But the intervention of the Corinthians and Corcyreans induced him to consent to the conclusion of a treaty of peace, by which the Syracusans, in exchange for the numerous prisoners he had taken at the Helorus, ceded to him the territory of Camarina, and he immediately proceeded to rebuild that city, which had been lately destroyed by the Syracusans. His last expedition was one against the Sicels, in the midst of which he died, while engaged in the siege of Hybla (B. C. 491), after a reign of seven years. He left two sons, Cleander and Eucleides, who, however, did not succeed him in the sovereignty, being supplanted by Gelon. (Herod. vi. 23, vii. 154, 155; Thuc. vi. 5; Diod. Exc. Vales.; Schol. in Pind. Ol. v. 19, Nem. ix. 95; Polyaen. v. 6.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


He succeeded his brother Gelon

Related to the place


Dexippus, (Dexippos), a Lacedaemonian, was residing at Gela when Sicily was invaded for the second time by the Carthaginians under Hannibal, the grandson of Hamilcar, in B. C. 406. At the request of the Agrigentines, on whom the storm first fell, he came to their aid with a body of mercenaries which he had collected for the purpose; but he did not escape the charge of corruption and treachery which proved fatal to four of the Agrigentine generals. When the defence of Agrigentum became hopeless, Dexippus returned to Gela, the protection of that place having been assigned him by the Syracusans, who formed the main stay of the Grecian interest in the island. Not long after, he was dismissed from Sicily by Dionysius, whose objects in Gela he had refused to aid. (Diod. xiii. 85, 87, 88, 93)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

You are able to search for more information in greater and/or surrounding areas by choosing one of the titles below and clicking on "more".

GTP Headlines

Receive our daily Newsletter with all the latest updates on the Greek Travel industry.

Subscribe now!
Greek Travel Pages: A bible for Tourism professionals. Buy online

Ferry Departures