In 398 b.C.
the alliance between Locri Epizephyrii and Syracuse is further
strengthened by the marriage of Dionysius I, tyrant of
Syracuse, with the maiden
Doris, daughter of Xenetus, one of the most distinguished
member of the Locrian aristocracy.
This event was of
exceptional importance for the polis of Locri Epizephyrii; so
that, during the first half of the fourth century b.C., the
considerable advantages from the military triumphs of the
Syracusan ally, becoming the reference point for each of its
expeditions in Magna Graecia and, especially, against Rhegion
and its allies.
In return Locri Epizephyrii was always
ready to answer every request for help (by sending troops and
warships) made by the Syracusan ally, even during the
continuous clashes between the troops of Dionysius I and the
Carthaginians, eager to take control of Sicily.
Therefore, during this period Locri Epizephyrii regained some
of the former glory it had in the years following the battle of the Sagra river, retaking control of the territory of Kaulon
(finally destroyed by Dionysius I in 389 b.C.), of Hipponion
(in 388 b.C.) and of Scylletium (between 386 b.C. and 384
b.C.); thus expanding again to the north at the expenses of
Meanwhile the army of Dionysius I
captured Rhegion (in 386 b.C.), which lost its independence,
falling directly under the control of Syracuse and ceasing to
be a threat to Locri Epizephyrii.
no more a threat and with the Kroton's military strength at its end, forced to defend itself against the continuous attacks carried
out by Dionysius I, Locri Epizephyrii could start again to
prosper in peace.
But towards the middle of the century
a new event generated great concern in the life of the Locrian
During the 367 b.C. Dionysius I died and his son
and successor, Dionysius II, from the father took only the
name; so much so that he was driven away by his Syracusan
fellow citizens in 356 b.C.
However, although Dionysius
II had proven of not having the same temperament of his
father, he was still the son of a woman belonging to one of
the most illustrious families of the Locrian aristocracy, and
due to this fact he was able to found refuge in the polis of
Nevertheless after some time,
eager to accumulate money to finance his return in Syracuse,
he seized power establishing tyranny in Locri Epizephyrii during
352 b.C., ousting from the government the aristocracy that had always
ruled Locri Epizephyrii and becoming the author of numerous
vexations and atrocities against the Locrian population.
Population that, truly exasperated, in 346 b.C. came up
against the tyrant, slaughtering his family during his absence
and preventing him from come back.
Such an event marked
a turning point in the history of the polis of Locri
Epizephyrii because the aristocracy lost almost all of his
power in favor of a democratic system whose main bodies were a
Council (boule) and an Assembly that included all the citizens
In this period Locri Epizephyrii also began to
mint coin, especially considering the new importance that
commerce had assumed for the polis.
despite the not always positive vicissitudes that took place
during this age, it's possible to assert without doubts that
for Locri Epizephyrii the fourth century b.C. was a period of
great splendor and of a prosperity never reached before in all
fields: artistic, economic and, above all, cultural. In
particular, this historical period, must be remembered for
figures like the poetess Nossis and the philosophers
Echecrates, Timaeus and Arion, the founders of a flourishing
school of Pythagoreanism (introduced in Locri at the time of
Dionysius I) in which took an interest Plato itself who,
according to what Cicero attests (De Finibus bonorum et
malorum, V - 29, 87), went personally to Locri Epizephyrii in
order to learn its basics.
But such period,
unfortunately for Locri Epizephyrii, will not last long
because new populations from the north (the Bruttii)
threatened with ever growing insistence the Locrian territory
and the ancient Syracusan ally had already lost his former
power; while, at the same time, Rome expanded its borders and
sought to take control over the entire Magna Graecia.