Royal Family of Syracuse
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Hiero II
Gelo II

R O Y A L . F A M I L Y . T R E E


Those in red were killed in 214 BC by the pro-Roman faction of Syracuse

Royal Family Tree

Adranodoros Husband of Hiero's daughter Damarata. He was one of fifteen guardians named in Hiero's will to counsel Hiero's fifteen-year-old grandson and successor, Hieronymos. He dismissed the guardians, arguing that they were not needed, and became Hieronymos's chief counselor. He encouraged Hieronymos to change the allegiance of Syracuse from Rome to Carthage. Following Hieronymos's assassination he attempted to seize power, but was too ineffectual. He and Themistos were assassinated in 214 BC by the pro-Roman faction that assassinated Hieronymos.
Damarata Daughter of Hiero and wife of Adranodoros. Livy paints her as a Lady Macbeth who pushed her weak husband beyond his ambitions and abilities.When Adranodoros was challenged for the right of the throne following the assassination of Hieronymos, Livy quotes her as telling him, "There is only one way for a monarch to leave his throne; not on horseback, but dragged feet first." She was put to death by an angry mob in 214 BC following her husband's assassination. The mob was convinced by Adranodoros's assassins that "Those men [Adranodoros and Themistos] thought themselves kings -- but it was their royal wives, Hiero's daughter [Damarata] and Gelo's daughter [Harmonia], who inspired them to think so."
Gelo Son of Hiero and Philistis. He married Nereis, the daughter of king Pyrrhos. Gelo co-ruled with his father beginning about 240 BC until his death in 216 BC. Livy says that he attempted to switch Syracuse's allegiance from Rome to Carthage following Rome's disastrous defeat at Cannae in 216 BC, but he died shortly thereafter. His son, Hieronymos, inherited the throne of Syracuse following Hiero's death in 215 BC.
Harmonia Daughter of of Gelo, sister of Hieronymos, and wife of Themistos. She was put to death by an angry mob in 214 BC that was persuaded to believe that the royal princesses were behind their husbands' kingly ambitions.
Heraclia Daughter of Hiero and wife of Zoippos. She and her two young daughters were put to death by an angry mob in 214 BC, along with her sister Damarata and niece Harmonia.
Hiero Ruler of Syracuse from 275 to 215 BC. See his complete biography.
Hierocles Father of Hiero. Nothing is known about him but his name.
Hieronymos Ruler of Syracuse from 215 to 214 BC. See his complete biography.
Leptines A popular and influential Syracusan citizen and the father of Philistis. Hiero married Philistis so that Leptines would protect his interests in Syracuse when he was called away from the city on military matters.
Nereis Wife of Gelo, mother of Hieronymos, and daughter of Pyrrhos.
Philistis Wife of Hiero and daughter of Leptines. Hiero married Philistis to consolidate his power following his military coup of Syracuse in 275 BC.
Pyrrhos 319-272 BC. King of Epirus and father of Nereis. He was recognized as ruler of Syracuse from 278 to 276 BC while assisting the Sicilian-Greek city-states in their continual battles with the Sicilian-Carthaginian city-states. He envisioned himself as another Alexander the Great and sought to unify the Greeks. However, although successful at winning battles he was not able to consolidate his victories into a viable empire. The term "Pyrrhic victory"--a victory won at a calamitous cost--comes from his reply to congratulating friends on his victory over the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC: "Another such victory and we are undone." (See Plutarch's Life of Pyrrhus.)
Themistos Husband of Harmonia. He was assassinated along with Adranodoros by the pro-Roman faction in Syracuse, who wished to prevent Adranodoros, the leader of the pro-Carthaginian faction, from seizing control of Syracuse.
Zoippos Husband of Heraclia and one of the fifteen guardians named in Hiero's will to counsel Hieronymos. He had some kind of falling out with Hieronymos and exiled himself in Alexandria, thus escaping the massacre of Hiero's family following Hieronymos's assassination.