After half a day of discussions, they were able to quickly re-thought the terms of negotiations, allowing Cheirisophus to return to Magna Graecia.
Finally, Theonia and Sparta signed the famous ‘Dual King Peace Treaty’ (The King of Theonia and the King of Sparta finally signed a peace agreement). And the contents of the peace treaty are as follows: First, Sparta and Theonia must maintain peace with each other, not invade each other and have friendly exchanges;
Second, with the Adriatic Sea as the middle line and the north-south as the boundary, Sparta regards the western Mediterranean Sea as the sphere of influence of Theonia. Thus they shall not send any army or warships into it nor send envoys to make alliances with any city-state in the western Mediterranean Sea or incite and support other city-states to carry out hostilities against Theonia. Likewise, Theonia recognises the area east of the Adriatic Sea as the sphere of influence of Sparta. Hence they shall not send any army or warships into it, nor conclude an alliance with any other city-state in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, or incite and support other city-states to carry out hostilities against Sparta.
Third, as Syracuse was still an ally of Sparta, Theonia promised not to infringe on Syracuse’s territorial interests and not force it to join the Theonia Alliance. However, since Taranto of Magna Graecia had no alliance relationship with Sparta, and the conflict with Theonia belongs to the internal matters of Magna Graecia, Sparta must not intervene following the second provision of the contract.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
The treaty would last for ten years. But after its expiration, both parties could renew the treaty if they have no objection.
After signing this agreement, Theonia and Sparta didn’t publicly announce it. After all, the fact that both sides disregarded other city-states as nothing and privately divided the Mediterranean Sea was too detestable, and it wasn’t in the interest of either side to have it spread.
However, after signing the agreement, Cheirisophus made a special trip to Taranto and announced Sparta’s decision not to interfere in Taranto’s affairs to its council.
After the strategoi and the council members heard this, the sound of mourning rang out in the council.
Two days later, Taranto sent envoys to Theonia to express their willingness to accept Theonia’s condition and become its ‘free city’.
After signing the agreement of ‘Taranto’s integration into Theonia Union’, the Thurian Senate followed Davos’ instructions to release the Tarantine captives in batches, but it would take a long time. Why not release them all at one? It was because Davos mainly considered the Tarantines’ precedent of breaking the alliance agreement, so he was afraid they would suddenly renege on their words after getting their benefits. Moreover, Theonia’s main force must stay in Scylletium to deal with some of the post-war matters of Magna Graecia with Davos and couldn’t return in time to deal with them. At the same time, Davos also want to let the Tarantines suffer a little bit more to fix their arrogance, which would also be convenient for their future management.
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After failing in his assault on the city, Dionysius returned to Ortygia. Herolis, on the other hand, begged Theonia’s first legion to stay for the time being and be stationed in the northern gate. At the same time, Herolis reorganised the city, formed a new defensive force and asked the first legion to send officers to instruct the citizens of Syracuse on how to defend the wall in the isthmus.
Dionysius’ failure also made the people in the port area no longer neutral as they sent troops to the city to accept Herolis’ orders.
Ten days later, Herolis led the new leadership of Syracuse, who signed the peace treaty with Theonia, to welcome the first batch of Syracusan soldiers who returned to Sicily from Magna Graecia, resulting in the populace bursting into tears of joy and Herolis becoming more confident.
Dionysius’ harassment by sending ships filled with a small group of mercenaries to land along the coast of Sicily had also stopped.
Seven or so days later, the Spartan envoy Phidias arrived in Syracuse. He officially recognised Syracuse’s new government and reaffirmed the alliance with Syracuse.
With the support of Theonia and Sparta, the new Syracusan government made the hesitant Greek city-states on the south coast of Sicily cut off their ties with Dionysius. Afterwards, they send envoys to Herolis and the others to convey their goodwill.
Although Dionysius was now completely isolated and helpless, the ‘rebels’ could still not breach the solid walls of the island of Ortygia. Unfortunately, his hope of regaining Syracuse has now turned into nothing, but what worried him more was that the food on the island was rapidly depleting and was only enough for a month or so.
Suddenly, Phidias made a bold move. Without any regard for danger, he entered the island of Ortygia alone and discussed with Dionysius.
In the end, Dionysius agreed to lead his family and supporters, as well as the thousand mercenaries, to leave the island of Ortygia and head for Sparta with Phidias’ assurance. At the same time, the Syracusan Council also agreed to provide ten triremes free of charge so that Dionysius could leave Sicily as soon as possible.
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Philistus watched as Dionysius stood on the port while gazing longingly at the island of Ortygia behind him. But once the whole fleet was ready and was only waiting for him, Philistus got down the ship again to persuade him, “Dionysius’ let’s go.”
“Philistus, my dear friend.” Dionysius’ voice seemed distant even though he was standing beside him, “I can sort of see…Syracuse, whether in times of peace or war, is always in constant…constant infighting, consuming its own strength, unable to use its power to completely expand its territory and seek more benefits for Syracuse itself!”
“That’s why I had fully supported you, Dionysius.” Philistus said with emotion and casually expressed his reason for following him.
“I don’t think Herolis would be able to rectify Syracuse’s flaw…” Dionysius said quietly.
“Herolis is too idealistic; he is often assertive to the point he would go to the extremes but lacked courage and ruthlessness. He won’t be able to control Syracuse!” Philistus spoke of his close friend that had deceived and imprisoned him with the same calm tone as if he was talking about a stranger.
“In this troubled time, we must use blood to intimidate the people and use strength to conquer the enemy! Herolis can’t understand that, and fortunately, he doesn’t!” Dionysius smiled as he pointed his finger to the north of Ortygia, “Without me as their common enemy, I dare swear to Apollo that there would be civil strife within six months. At that time, it would be the time for our return!”
“The people are very forgetful. Once Syracuse loses its status as Sicily’s hegemon and the Syracusans are looked down upon by foreign people, they would soon feel the cruel reality. By then, they would yearn for you again! I even believe that they would no longer resist you. Rather, they would warmly welcome your return to Syracuse!” Said Philistus seriously, agreeing with Dionysius’ words. It is also one of the reasons why they were willing to follow Dionysius.
“Hahaha, Apollo would bless us, just as he has blessed us many times before!” Dionysius laughed and turned around. Suddenly, he remembered something, and his face turned gloomy again, “But Theonia would be a big problem. Thus we need to discuss a countermeasure to deal with them specifically…”
While discussing in a low voice, the two men boarded the ship.
Once the salpinx sounded, the wooden oars beat the water, and the ship left the island of Ortygia and headed east.
When the news about Dionysius’ departure quickly spread throughout Syracuse, the whole city was filled with joy.
Herolis felt a sense of relief as the massive stone weighing on his heart was lifted. Henceforth, he would be the one leading the people to restore Syracuse’s prosperity, and he was fully confident of it himself.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
In the middle of the fleet bound for Sparta was the large passenger ship carrying Dionysius, his followers and his families.
Currently, Dionysius, Philistus, Hipparinus and Phidias were chatting in the cabin.
“When thinking about it, it seems that Theonia’s threat to attack Locri was to lure us into sending an army to land in Magna Graecia as soon as possible.” Dionysius said with a sigh.
“From what you said, you didn’t lead your army to invade Magna Graecia but was tempted by the Theonians?!” Phidias showed a hint of disdain.
“One of my goals was truly to conquer Magna Graecia!” Dionysius seemed to become frank after becoming an exile, “But I had overestimated Syracuse’s strength and underestimated Theonia, especially Davos! I thought I had already taken the young man seriously, but his commanding ability was still beyond my expectation. Not only did he unexpectedly repel the Samnite army I incited quickly, but he also quickly returned to Thurii and defeated my army at sea and on land using unique tactics!… Philistus, I really should’ve listened to you. Instead of attacking Magna Graecia anxiously, I should’ve spent a few years consolidating Syracuse’s hegemony in Sicily so that the people who were already somewhat tired of wars could get rested! Then even if I lost the war in Magna Graecia, we would still be able to hold onto Sicily!…”
“What’s the use of saying that now after getting kicked out of the western Mediterranean!” Said Hipparinus unhappily.
“It would naturally be useful!” Dionysius was disheartened when they departed but has now regained his confidence, “It is to learn from the experience and avoid making the same mistake again. Isn’t that what we did in those years? After every setback, we became stronger, stood higher and finally made Syracuse the hegemon of Sicily!”
Phidias watched Dionysius with an undisguised cold gaze as he didn’t intend to speak. Unexpectedly, Dionysius asked, “Phidias, when we attacked Magna Graecia, what do you think we should’ve done to defeat Theonia and avoid today’s outcome?”