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Nicon of Tarentum, surnamed Percon, who, together with Philemenus, betrayed his native city to Hannibal during the second Punic war, 21 BC. The plan was formed by thirteen noble youths, of whom Nicon and Philemenus were the leaders. Having contrived to hold frequent conferences with Hannibal, and concert all their measures with him, without exciting any suspicion, they appointed a night for the execution of their scheme, on which the Roman governor, M. Livius, was to give a great feast: and Nicon admitted Hannibal with a body of troops at one gate, while Philemenus contrived to make himself master of another, by which he introduced 1000 select African soldiers.

The Romans were taken completely by surprise, and Hannibal made himself master, almost without opposition, of the whole of Tarentum, except the citadel. (Polyb. viii. 26-36; Liv. xxv. 8-10.) The latter was closely blockaded by the Carthaginians and Tarentines, and in 210 a Roman fleet of twenty ships, under D. Quinctius having advanced to its relief, was encountered by that of the Tarentines under Democrates, and a naval action ensued, in which Nicon greatly distinguished himself by boarding the ship of the Roman commander, and running Quinctius himself through the body with a spear: an exploit which decided the fortune of the day in favour of the Tarentines. (Liv. xxvi. 39.) The following year (B. C. 209) the Romans having in their turn surprised Tarentum, Nicon fell, fighting bravely, in the combat which ensued in the forum of the city. (Id. xxvii. 16.)

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