Hiero II (Hieron II) (c. 306-215 B.C.).
Syracusan ruler. Principal wars: Mamertine War (266-263); First Punic War (264-241); Second Punic War (219-202). Principal battles: Mylae (Milazzo) (c. 270); the Longanus (near Milazzo) (265).
Born into an obscure Syracusan family about 306; first came to prominence as an officer in the army of Pyrrhus of Epirus; became a senior officer in the Syracusan army after Pyrrhus returned to Greece (275); defeated the Mamertines on the Longanus River (265) and became tyrant of Syracuse; at first sided with Carthage against the Mamertines, but his defeat by the Mamertines' Roman allies caused him to switch sides, and he concluded a separate and favorable peace with Appius Claudius Caudex (263); thereafter he was a loyal Roman ally, supplying them with ships and men through the end of the First Punic War (241) and into the early years of the Second Punic War until his death (215); after Carthage ceded Sicily to Rome (241-240) and the Romans made it a province (227) only Hiero's territory of Syracuse was excluded. <BL>
Sources: Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N., Encyclopedia of Military History. Fairfax, Va., 1984. Oxford Classical Dictionary, 2d ed. London, 1970. Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, Mass., 1953.