Hermocrates (Ancient Greek: Έρμοκράτης) was a general of Syracuse during the Athenians' Sicilian Expedition.

His first appearance was at the congress of Gela in 424 BC, where he held a speech demanding the Sicilian Greeks to accommodate their quarrel.[1] In 415 BC he recommend a coalition of even non-Sicilian cities (even non-Greek, like Carthago) against Athens.[2] He was elected as one of Syracuse's three strategoi,[3] but was decruited after a short period of time because of unsuccessfulness. Later he was one of the most important advisors to Gylippus, and thus made somewhat of a contribution to the victory over Athens. In 412 BC he was sent out as an admiral in the battle of Cyzicus, but lost his vessels and as a result was banned in absentia.[4] He returned to Sicily not until 408 BC. He died in a street fight after a failed coup de main on Syracuse in 407 BC.

Besides Thucydides, Hermocrates is mentioned by Xenophon[5], Plutarch[6] and Polyaenus[7]. Hermocrates is one of the persons appearing in Plato's late dialogs Timaeus and Critias. Plato originally might have planned a third dialog named Hermocrates, but never wrote it. "Since the dialogue that was to bear his name was never written, we can only guess why Plato chose him. It is curious to reflect that, while Critias is to recount how the prehistoric Athens of nine thousand years ago had repelled the invasion from Atlantis and saved the Mediterranean peoples from slavery, Hermocrates would be remembered by the Athenians as the man who had repulsed their own greatest effort at imperialist expansion."[8]


  1. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War IV 58-65. See also Marchant, E. C. (1933).
  2. ^ Thucydides VI 32-34.
  3. ^ Thucydides VI 72-73.
  4. ^ Thucydides VIII 85.
  5. ^ Xenophon, HellenikaI 1,27.
  6. ^ Plutarch, Nicias 21.
  7. ^ Polyaenus I 43.
  8. ^ Cornford, F. M. (1937), p. 2.


  • Cornford, F. M. (1937). Plato's Cosmology. London: Lund Humphries.
  • Marchant, E. C. (1933). "The Speech of Hermocrates". The Classical Review 47: 65-66.
  • Westlake, H. D. (1958/59). "Hermocrates the Syracusan". Revue bénédictine 41: 237-68.

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