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3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  1,315 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Sicily 412 BC: the infinite duel between a man and a superpower begins. The man is Dionysius, who has just made himself Tyrant of Syracuse. The superpower Carthage, mercantile megalopolis and mistress of the seas.

Over the next eight years, Dionysius' brutal military conquests will strike down countless enemies and many friends to make Syracuse the most powerful Greek city
Paperback, 406 pages
Published October 30th 2005 by Pan Publishing (first published 2003)
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Sanity Assasin
Sep 04, 2008 Sanity Assasin rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in history
hmm. no ones really wrote alot about this. just given it a rating. i thought it was a pretty enjoyable historical work of fiction. some of the historical people/characters were really interesting. i enjoyed reading more about dionysius's brother leptines and his friend philistus than the "tyrant" himself. maybe one day i will pick up another manfredi book. i liked it. he writes interesting and very often captivating historical fiction
The Idle Woman
This book is to be commended in the sense that it's one of the very few novels based in classical Sicily, and it therefore provides an introduction to a period that most people are unlikely to know. From that angle, I am glad to have read it. However, Manfredi is so keen to counteract the traditional negative portrayal of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, that he ends up with a character who is implausibly perfect. We are given an insight into Dionysius' personality, with the invention of a beloved ...more
Dec 17, 2014 Omar rated it it was amazing
Whatever sources you may read about Dionysius, historians will agree that he is the perfect model of a tyrant. Though not much is known about his history, or the history of the Sicilian Greeks, Manfredi did an excellent job at trying to portray the impact Dionysius had in Greek history.

Many reviewers thought of this book negatively on the bases of historical inaccuracies, or that it's partly made up. Well here's a spoiler: history is never accurate. No two people can look at an apple the same w
David Sarkies
Jul 09, 2015 David Sarkies rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to David by: Saw it in a bookshop
Shelves: historical
A novel based around a footnote in history
17 February 2011

This is a story about the rise and fall of Dionysius of Syracuse, a tyrant who unified the island of Sicily under Greek rule and then pushed the Carthaginians back to North Africa. While I have heard of him I don't for the life of me know of the ancient sources for this guy, and nobody that I have spoken to knows either (not that I have spoken to everybody that I know that could know about this).

While the book was entertaining, once aga
Jun 03, 2016 Jane rated it liked it
2.5/5. The novel gives us an unusual subject and time period--Greek Sicily at the time of the Peloponnesian War and beyond. I'm just using that as a reference as to when the story takes place. The novel tells of Dionysius of Syracuse, a good man who is badly affected by the death and destruction of his beloved wife. He then seizes power and becomes a tyrant, in the worst sense of the word--ruthless, merciless, cold-hearted. We see how absolute power corrupts him. He has mixed success against Car ...more
Jul 31, 2013 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How do you rebrand a character that history has dismissed as a one-dimensional cruel warmongerer? There are many answers to that. Unfortunately one of them is "make him a one-dimensional Machiavelli."

Which is what we get, along with a cast of equally flat character. Every soldier is bold and chisled. Every old man is wise beyond his years. Every politician is a self-serving coward. Every invading horde is more bloodthirsty and savage than the last (at least Hannibal seems to be acting out of fam
Aug 16, 2011 James rated it it was ok
I read this over a year ago, so my opinion is based on vague memories. So please do not read too much into this.

My overall impression of this was the obvious fact that it was translated. It wasn't that it was a bad translation, you could just tell that it wasn't written by a native English speaker. As I said, it wasn't badly translated, just off enough to put me off balance and thus ruin my reading of the book.

Apart from that, what I remember was actually a good tale. For once the protagonis
Πάνος Τουρλής
Jul 22, 2014 Πάνος Τουρλής rated it really liked it
Πραγματικά πολύ καλό, απίστευτη αναπαράσταση της εποχής, ψυχολογία των απλών και των ηρωικών ανθρώπων, βαθιά μηνύματα έπαρσης, φιλίας, προδοσίας, άριστη γνώση της εποχής και του περιβάλλοντος. Μιλάμε για δουλειά, όχι αστεία. Ίσως κουράσουν οι μάχες αλλά είναι πολύ λίγες συγκριτικά με το μέγεθος του βιβλίου. Ο Μανφρέντι είναι καταπληκτικός αφηγητής, μοναδικός ιστορικός και παρόλαυτά το έργο του μπορεί να το προσεγγίσει οποιοσδήποτε, γιατί δεν διδάσκει (κατηχεί) αλλά αφηγείται. Και τα νοήματα είνα ...more
Aug 29, 2008 Sundurra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great historical novel. This is a very vivid story about the greeks who were living in Sicily (do not remember the exact year, but it is definitely BC time). At the time, Carthage was their biggest enemy and they made several incursions over different cities. Dionisio, a very dedicated soldier, became increasingly frustrated about the way that the democratically-elected officials were handling the situation. Therefore, he decided to take over the government, so he could efficiently fight the t ...more
Oscar Lion
Oct 07, 2016 Oscar Lion rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wise
Manfredi's book brings back to life its main character, a dictator that ruled in the center of the Mediterranean Sea a long time ago. The story is thrilling, the narration perfect, the opening intriguing. The story and history of Dionysius mixes politics, war, love and hatred. Life, in one word. The Cartaginians have the same role as today's hostile alien lifeforms in a SciFi masterpiece. Centuries would pass before the new invicibles, the Romans, beat them and delete their civilization. A very ...more
Antonio Rosato
"Ci sono momenti in cui si può rinunciare a una parte della propria libertà se è in gioco la vita stessa e la sopravvivenza di intere comunità, non credi? E vi sono situazioni nelle quali è proprio il popolo a conferire a un uomo degno responsabilità eccezionali".
Libro che ripercorre, in modo molto romanzato, la vita e le gesta di Dionisio I di Siracusa, uno dei primi "tiranni" della Storia . Romanzo, perciò, che vede la guerra (e di conseguenza la morte) farla da padrone ma che, paradossalmente
Dec 18, 2016 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un bel libro di Manfredi che riesce a farti tuffare nella vicenda ambientata tanti secoli fa. Il solito mix tra storia e romanzo che rende vincente la storia.

Un buon libro.
Indah Threez Lestari
Dec 31, 2016 Indah Threez Lestari rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-english, punya
897 - 2016

Pasrah ah, target buku nonkomik tahun ini tidak tercapai... T.T
Dec 19, 2016 James rated it it was amazing
As always, Valerio Massimo Manfredi never fails to create works of art.
Couldn't put it down!
Sep 18, 2016 Darren rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. It had a "trust us, he is amazing" approach to the protagonist without ever giving us cause to believe it. The characters are one dimensional, potential subplots are ignored and the narrative drags. Do yourself a favor and skip it.
Alexandros Kyriakou
Aug 07, 2013 Alexandros Kyriakou rated it liked it
"This book is to be commended in the sense that it's one of the very few novels based in classical Sicily, and it therefore provides an introduction to a period that most people are unlikely to know. From that angle, I am glad to have read it.

However, Manfredi is so keen to counteract the traditional negative portrayal of Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, that he ends up with a character who is implausibly perfect. We are given an insight into Dionysius' personality, with the invention of a belove
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yvan Argeadi
RECENSIONE: http://atelierdiunalettricecompulsiva...

Questa è a grandi linee la trama de Il Tiranno di Valerio Massimo Manfredi, archeologo e scrittore di fama internazionale di cui ho già ampiamente parlato in questa sezione del blog.
Il libro risulta scritto con un linguaggio raffinato ma al contempo scorrevole. Manfredi è stato capace di infondre nel protagonista un carisma davvero notevole ( seppur non all'altezza di quello di altri eroi storici da lui raccontati ), e di trattare temi di polit
John Betts
I chose the audiobook version read by Sir Derek Jacobi because it fit better with my hectic schedule. The story itself was enjoyable, though a little tedious in some areas. However, besides the superb narration by Jacobi what I found most enjoyable was learning that this wasn't a completely fictional tale but instead based upon real historical people and real events. I hadn't heard of Dionysius I of Syracuse or his brother Leptines before. This book gave me a good introduction to the period and ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Katrin rated it liked it
una fazza, una razza.. I've heard that often enough and finally I had a book about the Greek colonies in Sicily. I loved to know how life was for them and how they followed the political struggles of mainland Greece and all the Greek territories. Sadly though Manfredi is obviously a big fan of tactics, manoeuvers and battle strategies. I like that, too, but not for so many times in a row. I do understand that the struggle between the Greeks and the "barbarians" had to be told with all the battle ...more
-No es lo mismo un tirano que un dictador, y en aquellos tiempos todavía menos.-

Género. Novela histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. En el siglo IV antes de Cristo, un callado y misterioso personaje que dice ganarse la vida enseñando recuerda, tras una pelea tabernaria, el pasado de Dionisio de Siracusa, un hombre que hizo todo lo necesario para conseguir expulsar a los cartagineses de la isla que ahora es Sicilia, llegar al poder y expandir los límites de sus dominios.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, s
Andreas Michaelides
Jun 26, 2015 Andreas Michaelides rated it it was amazing
At some point Sicily and a big part of North Italy was called Magna Graecia, which is a very good indication that it was mostly populated by Greeks settles that left Greece years ago to find better living conditions. Dionysius of Syracuse was a tyrant but he was also a political and military genius, he managed to make Syracuse the dominant city and also eliminate the thread from the Carthaginians.

Being a history fan I really enjoyed this book, it presented a different aspect of the man, one that
Nov 01, 2015 Κώστας rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: Ιστορικά
Φοβερά ρεαλιστικό, ξυπνάει συναισθήματα & έννοιες μέσα μας θαμένες. Τόσο ζωντανή, τόσο παραστατική απεικόνιση των γεγονότων που ένιωσα θεατής στα 10 μέτρα κι όχι απλός αναγνώστης. Καθαρά αντρικό βιβλίο με την συγκίνηση που αποπνέει αντρική επίσης. Για όσους ξέρουν τον Μανφρέντι από άλλα του βιβλία, θα βρουν κι εδώ επίσης την υψηλή ποιότητα που τον διακρίνει. Απολαύστε τον, συμπληρώνοντας την ιστορία που δεν μάθατε στο σχολείο.
Not a bad book, but not the best Valerio Massimo Manfredi has written.

Still well worth reading. Dionysus of Syracuse isn't a person who gets a lot of time in historical fiction. He's a passing character in at least one Mary Renault book, but that's about it.

Very heavy on the military aspect, so will not be to everyone's taste.
Sergio Rossini
Feb 17, 2015 Sergio Rossini rated it it was amazing
400 B.C. the history of the war between Syracuse and Carthago and the story of the man who invented tyranny...but the real star here is Sicily and the "Magna Grecia" that in the end is the real mother of today's western world ;-)
Being from Syracuse, my pleasure reading it was doubled!
...and I read it twice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristián A. Gaymer
Manfredi es un muy buen escritor de historia novelada. Sus libros son (en general) entretenidos, con mucha información histórica y con tramas de amor-aventura-drama que siempre enganchan al lector.
Su trilogía de Alejandro Magno es mejor, pero éste se queda por poco atrás.
Angel Serrano
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2011 Nicolas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, favorites
This one made me want to read more from Manfredi. "The measure of a man is what he does with power" - Plato. That quote fits this book perfectly and that's what it shows exactly. Oh my goodness, the battles, the strategy... everything. I loved this book.
Dec 27, 2014 Luigi rated it liked it

Si legge velocemente e la trama corre veloce e coinvolge. Le troppe e continue battaglie possono comunque stancare, soprattutto verso la fine.
Consigliato solo agli amanti di Manfredi. Per chi non conoscesse l'autore sconsiglio di partire da questo...
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Valerio Massimo Manfredi (born 1943) is an Italian historian, writer, archaeologist and journalist. He was born in Piumazzo di Castelfranco Emilia, province of Modena and is married to Christine Fedderson Manfredi, who translates his published works from Italian to English. They have two children and live in a small town near Bologna.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi defines himself as an "Ancient World To
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