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On this page: Sito – Sittius – Sixtus – Slecas – Smerdis



At length he allowed Dryas and Cleitus to fight for her, promising to give her to the conqueror. Pallene, who loved Cleitus, caused her own instructor Persyntes to induce the charioteer of Dryas to draw out the nails from the wheels of his master's chariot, so that during the fight he broke down with his chariot, and was killed by Cleitus. Sithon, who was informed of the trick, erected a funeral pile, on which he intended to burn the corpse of Dryas and his own daughter ; but when the pile was ready, Aphrodite appeared, a shower of rain extinguished the fire, and Sithon altered his mind, and gave his daughter to Cleitus. (Parthen. Erot. 5 ; Conon, Narr. 10 ; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 583, 1161 ; comp. cleitus.) [L. &.]

SITO (2mu), a surname of Demeter, describing her as the giver of food or corn. (Athen. x. p. 416, iii. p. 109 ; Aelian, V. H. i. 27; Eustath. ad Horn. P. 265.) [L. S.]

SITTIUS or SI'TIUS. 1. P. sittius, of Nuceria in Campania, was one of the adventurers, bankrupt in character and fortune, but possessing considerable ability, who abounded in Rome during the latter years of the republic. He was connected with Catiline, and went to Spain in b. c. 64, from which country he crossed over into Mauritania in the following year. It was said that P. Sulla had

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sent him into Spain to excite an insurrection against the Roman government; and Cicero accord­ingly, when he defended Sulla, in b. c. 62, was obliged also to undertake the defence of his friend Sittius, and to deny the truth of the charges that had been brought against him. The orator represented Sittius as his own friend, and pointed out how his father had remained true to the Romans during the Marsic war. (Cic. pro Sull. 20.) Sittius, how­ever, did not return to Rome. His property in Italy was sold to pay his debts, and he continued in Africa, where _he fought with great success in the wars of the kings of the country, selling his services first to one prince and then to another. The reputation he had acquired gradually attracted troops to his standard ; and at the time that Caesar landed in Africa, in b.c. 46, he was at the head of a considerable force both by land and by sea. Although Sittius had not previously had any con­nection with Caesar, he resolved to espouse his cause, foreseeing that Caesar v would be victorious in Africa as elsewhere, and that he himself would be liberally rewarded for his services. Sittius came to the assistance of Caesar at the time when his aid was most needed, for he had landed in Africa with only a small number of his troops, and ran the risk of being overwhelmed by the superior number of the enemy. Joined by Bocchus, king of Mauritania, Sittius invaded Numidia, took Cirta, the capital of the kingdom, and laid waste the Gaetulian dominions of Juba. The latter monarch, who was advancing with a large army to assist Scipio against Caesar, forthwith returned to the de­fence of his own dominions, contenting himself with sending thirty elephants to the support of Scipio. This retreat of Juba saved Caesar from destruction, as the latter had no forces sufficient to resist the united armies of Scipio and Juba. Of the operations of Juba against Sittius and Bocchus, we know nothing ; but the Numidian king soon after­wards joined Scipio, at the earnest request of the latter, leaving his general Saburra to oppose Sittius and Bocchus. While Caesar defeated Scipio and Juba in the decisive battle of Thapsus, Sittius was


equally successful against Saburra, whom he de­feated and slew. Shortly afterwards L. Afranius and Faustus Sulla, who had fled from Utica with 1500 cavalry into Mauritania, with the intention of crossing over into Spain, were intercepted by Sittius, who was marching with a small body of troops to join Caesar, were taken prisoners, and sent to Caesar. About the same time the fleet of Sittius, which was stationed at Hippo Regius, captured the ships in which Scipio and other fu­gitives were endeavouring to quit the country. On leaving Africa, Caesar rewarded the services of Sittius and Bocchus by granting to them the wes­tern part of Numidia, which had been previously under the sway of Masinissa, a friend and ally of Juba. Sittius settled down in the portion which had been assigned to him, and distributed the land among his soldiers. After the death of Caesar, Arabio, the son of Masinissa, who had fought in Spain under the sons of Pompey, returned to Africa, drove Bocchus out of his hereditary dominions, and killed Sittius by stratagem. (Cic. pro Sull. 20 ; Sail. Cat. 21; Hirt. B. Afr. 25, 30, 36, 93, 95, 96 ; Dion Cass. xliii. 3, 4, 8, 9, 12 ; Appian, B. C. iv. 54 ; Cic. ad Att. xv. 17, " Arabioni de Sitio nihil irascor.")

2. sittius, of Gales in Campania, was proscribed by the triumvirs in b. c. 43, but at the request of his townsmen was allowed to live as an exile at his native place. (Appian, B. C. iv. 47.)

SIXTUS, the third of that name who occupied the papal chair, succeeded Coelestinus in A. d. 432, and died a. d. 440. He is known as an author merely from some formal letters possessing no par­ ticular interest. They will be found in the Epis- tolae Pontificum Romanorum of Constant, vol. i. p. 1229. fol. Paris, 1721, and in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. ix. p. 518, fol. Venet. 1773. [W. R.]

SLECAS, a gem-engraver, only known by a gem inscribed with the name CAEKAS, which is, however, of a very suspicious form. (Bracci, i. p. 234.) [P. S.]

SMERDIS (^epSis), the son of Cyrus, the founder of the Persian empire, accompanied his elder brother Cambyses to Egypt, but was sent back by the latter to Susa, because he was the only one of all the Persians who was strong enough to bend the bow which the king of the Ethiopians had sent to the Persian monarch. Shortly after­wards Cambyses dreamt that a messenger came to him from Persia, announcing that his brother was seated on the royal throne with his head reaching to the skies. Alarmed at 'this dream portending his brother's greatness, he sent a confidential ser­vant named Prexaspes to Susa with express orders to put Smerdis to death. Prexaspes fulfilled his commission, murdered Smerdis secretly, and buried him with his own hands. Among the few per­sons who were privy to the murder was Patizei-thes, a Magian, who had been left by Cambyses in charge of his palace and treasures. This person had a brother who bore the same name as the deceased prince, and strongly resembled him in person ; and as most of the Persians believed Smerdis to be alive, and were disgusted and alarmed at the frantic tyranny of Cambyses, he resolved to proclaim this brother as king, repre­senting him as the younger son of the great Cyrus. Cambyses heard of the revolt in Syria, but he died of an accidental wound in the thigh, as he was

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