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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 420: Dionysius Ambition Bahasa Indonesia

“But Scylletium is beyond Hades’ protection…” Cariades looked slightly depressed.

“Which would be your mission in the future!” Cariades, who came from a different city-state, was the key figure in developing Theonia’s unique Temple of Hades beyond its borders. That is why Plesinas looked at him differently. “But now, we should pray together so that Hades will bless Lord Davos in defeating the Samnites as soon as possible so that they could return to Thurii and then go to Caulonia to repel the Syracusans and ensure the peace of Magna Graecia!”

“You are right!” Cariades then looked at Hades’ statue with his faith becoming stronger, ‘I must let Hades’ divine power and mercy shine on the city of Scylletium!’

After Cariades left the temple, Plesinas’ solemnity disappeared as he quickly turned around and closed the temple’s door.

With him being the only one left in the temple, he then knelt in front of the statue and confessed piously, “Hades, forgive me for what I will do! This is for your descendants and also to give you greater glory!….”

After saying this quietly, Plesinas raised his head, where he suddenly felt that the statue’s face did not seem so terrifying. Then he began to do something…

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Although the Theonians are not as afraid of war as the other city-states of Magna Graecia, they are still worried about the safety of their family. After all, the two battlefields, one south and one north, are not only a large-scale war but also far away from them. Therefore, the number of people going to the Temple of Hades to pray every day has more than tripled than usual.

However, from this day onward, some people claimed that when they place their oil lamp on the altar, they would see the words “take my blood as your king and the peace of the union will be ensured!” on the table, but it soon disappeared!

Some people also claimed that they saw this line of handwriting, not on the altar, but on the temple’s pillars!

Some said that when they prayed, they would hear the statue grunting as if it were saying ‘Davos’…

At first, these rumours were only occasional, and the Theonians only regarded it as a joke. However, as time passed, more and more people witnessed this astonishing sight, then things developed rapidly in one direction…

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

On the same morning, Dionysius met the envoy sent by the South Italian Alliance in his tent.

When he saw the letter of challenge delivered by the envoy, he felt a burst of joy in his heart.

It turns out that Dionysius did not even intend to capture Caulonia first, as speculated by Phrytinas and Ascamas.

Unlike what the Greeks of Magna Graecia thought, Dionysius was far from being arrogant when commanding a battle. On the contrary, he was very shrewd. Although he had never fought on the land of Magna Graecia before, from what he learned from the Locrians and what he observed with his own eyes, he believed that Caulonia, a city whose walls was 10 metres high and had been besieged by Locri many times before, was not so easy to capture.

He who has rich experience in siege knows that it would definitely take a lot of time if he were to engage in a siege battle, and time is currently very precious to himself and the Syracusan army. This is why he must break the stalemate on the battlefield as soon as possible and seize the victory.

Thus after careful thinking and consultation with Phidias, he once more used the trick that he used to defeat Himilco near the city of Syracuse.

He then sent a messenger back to Locri to draw out 20,000 freemen who landed with the army and were responsible for transporting the provisions, equipment and rations. Afterwards, they would disguise themselves as soldiers and quietly rush to the Syracuse-Locri camp that was besieging Caulonia and replace the more than twenty thousand Syracusan soldiers.

Due to getting besieged, the Caulonians could only stay inside the city while the scouts of the South Italian Alliance could not do anything in the night. On the other hand, the fourth and fifth legions of Theonia, having just arrived at Scylletium, were eager to build their camp, while the strategoi were busy with their meeting. Hence they did not send a reconnaissance team to check on the surrounding situation.

On the next day, the number of Syracuse-Locri coalition troops remained unchanged. As they began cutting down trees, making siege towers, and so on, they continued to use their ballistae to attack Caulonia in order to conceal this from the South Italian Alliance, who did not notice the anomaly.

At this time, the Syracusan army that had just returned to Locri had crossed the old mountain path, quietly reached the west coast, and quickly marched north…

Only Rhegium’s strategos – Pheidon, who is stationed in Taurania noticed the enemy’s movement. However, the land and sea routes of Rhegium and Taurania were under the control of Syracuse, cutting them off from the South Italian Alliance.

Pheidon could only risk it as he picked out a dozen or so brave men in hopes that they would be able to cross the blockade at the mountain pass and reach Caulonia to report this vital information to their allies in order to prevent Syracuse from suddenly increasing their forces to break through the Allaro River defensive line, unaware that the fourth and fifth Theonian legion had already retreated. (Pheidon thought Syracuse was still blocked at the south of the Allaro; hence, they increased their troops.)

In fact, these 20,000 men that Dionysius swapped had rushed to the Ophemia Plains, increasing his strength to nearly 80,000 men, giving him an absolute numerical advantage. Furthermore, these were the troops that he usually led, making it more convenient for him to command them.

His original priority was Terina, a modest city located on the Ophemia Plains, but had unable to develop and expand due to the continuous invasion of the Bruttians in the north. But due to its distance from Locri and the great river to the south, most of the Locrian allies invaded from the Caulonian side. Unlike the Crotonians, the Terinians did not enforce their city wall and made it higher nor even widen their moat because the Bruttians rarely attacked the city of Terina. And whenever they do invade, they are mostly looting as they are terrible at sieging. Thus the city of Terina, with only a few people and low walls and are located in the plain, became a lump of fat meat in the eyes of Dionysius.

The plan he initially discussed with Phidias and the others was that once Phacipessas arrived at Hipponion with his army, he would draw out another 20,000 men from his camp to attack Terina. And if the South Italian Alliance noticed that he was splitting up his troops and led an army to rescue Terina, Dionysius would instead order Phacipessas’ army to reach Terina by sea covertly. Then they would take advantage of their strength to crush the enemy’s reinforcements, and the Syracusan army would then take complete control of the area and continue its pursuit northwards. But if the South Italian Alliance did not send reinforcements to Terina’s rescue(a less likely option as it would cause the alliance to fall apart), the Syracusan army would take this opportunity to capture the city of Terina, weaken the enemy and continue to advance towards the South Italian Alliance’s troops…

But after reading the letter of challenge handed by the Scylletium envoy, Dionysius laughed happily, ‘Now these arrogant Magna Graecians actually wanted to fight me and really thought that they could defeat me with their meagre troops, which is good as I could take them all down in one swoop!’

Dionysius was happy inward, but his face showed hesitation, and he didn’t reply for a long time.

The allied envoy impatiently said, “Tyrant of Syracuse, I heard that you are very decisive every time you execute the citizens of your city that you didn’t even shed a tear! So why are you now afraid of the army of Magna Graecia that you planned to enslave?! If your courage is so meagre, you’d better roll back to the island on the other side of the Strait as soon as possible, else face the anger of the Magna Graecians that would devour you and your army!”

Faced with the envoy’s ridicule, Dionysius stared at him angrily. He then picked up his pen and wrote in the letter of challenge, ‘Tomorrow morning!’

Then he threw it at the envoy and shouted angrily, “Since you Magna Graecians wants to die early, then you’d better start praying to Hades! So that you can suffer less pain when you go to the underworld tomorrow!”

“We still don’t know who wins and who losses. Besides, Hades is the patron of Theonia, the most important ally of the South Italian Alliance!” The envoy didn’t forget to retort as he picked up the letter of challenge.

“What’s your name?” Dionysius stared at him.

“Saliseus, son of Skoras, a Scylletian.” Replied the envoy with his head raised.

“Saliseus, I will remember it!” Dionysius spat out his name with a threat.

However, Saliseus was not afraid. On the contrary, he smiled with contempt as he said, “It is my honour to be remembered by the Tyrant of Sicily!”

After the envoy left, the anger on Dionysius’ face quickly disappeared as he walked excitedly back and forth in the tent. He then waved to the guard and said, “Go and call that Spartan!”

Seeing Phidias walking quickly towards his tent, Dionysius immediately said, “Scylletium had just sent an envoy to give me a letter of challenge.”

Seeing his happy expression, Phidias simply asked, “So you agreed?”

Dionysius was obviously quite satisfied with his performance just now, so he complacently said, “I didn’t immediately agree as I want the envoy to think that I am hesitating and afraid…”

“In fact, there is no need to fight the South Italian Alliance.” Phidias immediately poured cold water on him, “Once we attack Terina, the South Italian Alliance’s troops would be forced to move without knowing the situation, allowing us to defeat them with our superior force. But if it is a head-on confrontation, it will just increase your soldiers’ casualties!”

“Phidias, you are an excellent strategos. But sometimes, you should not just think about winning.” Since the Spartans like to be straightforward, Dionysius was too lazy to mince his words, “We spent a lot of money to prepare Syracuse’s army, not just to win a few victories here and show off our forces to Locri! What I need is a large-scale battle! A magnificent victory! To frighten the Magna Graecians and let them know who is the real owner of this land in the future!” Said Dionysius with pride as he confided his ambition without concealment.


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