A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

(Κάλλιππος), historical.

1. Of Athens, was a disciple of Plato, and thus became acquainted with Dion of Syracuse, who was likewise among the pupils of Plato. When Dion afterwards returned to Syracuse, Callippus accompanied him, and was ever after treated by him with distinction and confidence. Notwithstanding this, Callippus formed at last a conspiracy against the life of Dion. The plot was discovered by Dion's sister; but Callippus pacified them by swearing, that he had no evil intentions towards Dion. But in spite of this oath, he assassinated Dion during a festival of Persephone, the very divinity by whom he had sworn, B. C. 353. Callippus now usurped the government of Syracuse, but maintained himself only for thirteen months. The first attempt of Dion's friends to cause an insurrection of the people against the usurper was unsuccessful; but, a short time after, Hipparenus, a brother of the younger Dionysius, landed with a fleet at Syracuse, and Callippus, who was defeated in the ensuing battle, took to flight. He now wandered about in Sicily from town to town, at the head of a band of licentious mercenaries, but could not maintain himself anywhere. At last he and Leptines, with their mercenaries, crossed over into Italy, and laid siege to Rhegium, which was occupied by a garrison of Dionysius the Younger. The garrison was expelled, and the citizens of Rhegium were restored to autonomy, and Callippus himself remained at Rhegium. He treated his mercenaries badly, and being unable to satisfy their demands, he was murdered by his own friends, Leptines and Polyperchon, with the same sword, it is said, with which he had assassinated Dion. (Plut. Dion. 28-58, de Sera Num. Vind. p. 553d.; Diod. 16.31, 36, 45; Athen. 11.508.)