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After the defeat of Hicetas, that leader still held out for a season,

defending himself in the town of Leontini. Here he was presently besieged

by Timoleon and obliged to capitulate; but he sought revenge by inviting

in the Carthaginians, who immediately responded by sending into the

island an army of seventy thousand men. Against these Timoleon could

muster but twelve thousand; but with this small force he went boldly into

battle at the river Crimesus, and, assisted by a terrible storm which

burst suddenly in the face of the enemy with hail and lightning and wind,

gained a complete and decisive victory. Ten thousand of the Carthaginians

were destroyed in the battle and fifteen thousand made prisoners. The

effect of the victory was such that the enemy was glad to accept the

terms of peace which, in B. C. 338, Timoleon saw fit to offer.

In the mean time, Hicetas was overthrown, taken prisoner, and condemned

to death for his treachery. The various despots who under the influence

of the oligarchy had obtained possession of most of the Sicilian towns

were now ejected, and the whole island speedily brought to a condition of

quiet never before enjoyed. As soon as this happy condition of affairs

had been reached, Timoleon resigned his trust and retired to private

life. For his services he would accept nothing but a modest house given

him by the city. He soon afterwards brought his family from Greece, and

passed the rest of his life in honorable seclusion. It was impossible,

however, that his influence should not be sought and felt in the public

business of the day and island. He was frequently consulted as a kind of

patriotic oracle in deciding the gravest questions of state. After his

blindness, which ensued not long after his retirement, he continued to be

a mark of the distinguished esteem and confidence of the Syracusans, who

took delight in bringing him in a car into the public assembly or

theater, and on such occasions he was always received with a burst of

popular enthusiasm. At his death, in B. C. 336, he was honored with a

splendid funeral at the public expense, and a concourse of weeping people

gathered at his tomb to bear witness to his heroic virtues and unselfish


Before the events which have just been narrated, the final act in

Hellenic history had begun in Greece. It will have been noticed that,

with the decline of Sparta, the apprehensions of the Athenians and

Thebans were directed to the North rather than to Peloponnesus. The

imbroglio with Alexander of Pherae had indicated that even within the

limits of Northern Greece the elements of danger to the independence of

the smaller states lay hidden ready for development; but more

particularly was there cause for alarm from the growing power of the

great kingdom just beyond Olympus.

The giving of the youth, Philip of Macedon, as a hostage to the Thebans,

and his residence of several years among the Greeks, have already been

mentioned. While in Thebes the young man made good use of his

opportunities. He studied the Greek language and literature. He made the

acquaintance of Plato. He studied military science under Epaminondas, and

familiarized himself with the current condition of the affairs of Greece.

His great natural abilities were thus stimulated in a school well

calculated to bring out the best energies of his genius. Before leaving

Thebes-which he did in B. C. 359- to assume the duties of the Macedonian

government during the absence of his brother Perdiccas on the Illyrian

campaign, he had