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Thread: Preview: Syracuse

  1. #1

    Default Preview: Syracuse

    The City of Syracuse

    "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", Cicero

    The city that is today over 2,700 years old has made it's name among the greatest cities in the history of humanity. Syracuse was, in it's time a flourishing city-state that dominated both, Sicily and Magna Graecia. It was rich in trade and had a huge population.

    Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea, led by the oecist (colonizer) Archias, who called it Sirako, referring to a nearby salt marsh. The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia. The settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, and for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean. Syracuse eventually began establishing colonies of it's own, ir founded a colony at Akrai in (664 BC), Kasmenai (643 BC), Akrillai (VII century BC), Helorus (VII century BC) and Kamarina (598 BC). The descendandts of the original colonists controlled the city, until the Killichiroi, or lower class expelled them. They returned however with the help of Gelo of Gela. Gelo made himself the effective dictator of Syracuse and moved many of his people from Gela and other cities into Syracuse. Gelo also made Syracuse a highly cultural location, making a theater and attracting various philosophers to Syracuse.

    Syracuses bloating power made a clash with the Carthginians an inevitability. At the battle of Himera, Gelo, allied with Theron of Akragas decisively defeated the Carthaginian army under Hamilcar. A temple was built in the city to commemorate the victory.

    Gelo was suceeded by his brother Hiero, who fought the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BCE. His rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos, Bacchylides and Pindar, who visited his court. A democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos (467 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 (see Sicilian Expedition). In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 3,000 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand.

    From Wikipedia:

    His successor was Dionysius the Younger, who was however expelled by Dion in 356 BC. But the latter's despotic rule led in turn to his expulsion, and Dionysius reclaimed his throne in 347 BC. A democratic government was installed by Timoleon in 345 BC. The long series of internal struggles had weakened Syracuse's power on the island, and Timoleon tried to remedy this, defeating the Carthaginians in 339 BC near the Krimisos river. But the struggle among the city's parties restarted after his death and ended with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power with a coup in 317 BC. He resumed the war against Carthage, with alternate fortunes. He however scored a moral success, bringing the war to the Carthaginians' native African soil, inflicting heavy losses to the enemy. The war ended with another treaty of peace which did not prevent the Carthaginians interfering in the politics of Syracuse after the death of Agathocles (289 BC). The citizens called Pyrrhus of Epirus for help. After a brief period under the rule of Epirus, Hiero II seized power in 275 BC.

    Hiero inaugurated a period of 50 years of peace and prosperity, in which Syracause became one of the most renowned capitals of Antiquity. He issued the so-called Lex Hieronica, which was later adopted by the Romans for their administration of Sicily; he also had the theater enlarged and a new immense altar, the "Hiero's Ara", built. Under his rule lived the most famous Syracusan, the natural philosopher Archimedes. Among his many inventions were various military engines including the claw of Archimedes, later used to resist the Roman siege of 214 BC–212 BC. Literary figures included Theocritus and others.

    Hiero's successor, the young Hieronymus (ruled from 215 BC), broke the alliance with the Romans after their defeat at the Battle of Cannae and accepted Carthage's support. 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 Archimedes in the process.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Preview: Syracuse

    The Units

    Syracusian Hoplitai

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    These are the core hoplites of any Syracusian force. They are recruited from the middle calss Syracusians who can afford the linothorax and Corinthian helmet to be a hoplite, but not the heavier bronze cuirass and weighty armor.

    (model by King Louise Assurbannipal)

    Allied Hoplitai

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    These men are recruited from the lesser states and countryside around Syracuse. Although not as good as the Syracusians themselves, they are still an effective force.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Not only did marines fight at sea, but on land in amphibious operations and supporting actions with an expeditionary force. They carry a short xipho s short that dosen't tangle in the rigging of a ship and carry armor light enough to swim in.

    On the field they make effective shock troops and flank guards.

    Epilektoi Hoplitai

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    These hoplites are from the upper class of Syracuse. They are able to afford the weighty armor and equipment of a heavy hoplite and this makes them devastating on the field and they will compose of the shock arm of your phalanx.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Syracuse, unlike mainland Greece was a comprehensive equestrian nation. They practised husbandry and fielded cavalry unlike anything seen in Greece. These cavalry are shock troops and are more than capable of breaking up a phalanx from the sides or rear.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The best cavalry in Syracuse are also the guards of your Strategos. They carry a heavy lance for the shock charge and a long xiphos for close combat. They are tremendously effective on the field but it should be noted that they are few in number and are best when used as the guards for the Strategos when he is at risk.

    (Helmet model by Variagmod)

    We gope you've enjoyed the preview!

    -The Strategos Team


    Research, skinning, modelling: Old King Coal
    2-d art: Skullheadhq
    Last edited by Old_King_Coal; 12-02-2009 at 21:21.


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