Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XI - The Library of History

Page 262


The Contests between Deucetius and the Agrigentines. His strange Submission to the Syracusians, who sent him to Corinth, with promise to supply him with Necessaries.

WHen Antidotus was Governor of Athens, the Romans chose Lucius Publius Posthumus, and Marcus Horatius Consuls. In their time, Deucetius the General of the Siculi took Aetna, whose Prince was kill'd by Treachery. Afterwards he led his Army into the Country of the Agrigentines, and besieg'd Motyum, a Garrison of the Agrigentines. They of Agrigentum sent aid to them of Motyum, but his Army fought and routed them, and took the Place. The Winter approaching, all return'd to their several Cities. The Syracusians put to Death Bilco, the General of the Army, the Author (as was supposed) of that ruin that was brought upon them in this Battel, and who was judg'd to have had secret Correspondence with Deucetius. At the Return of the Year, they made another General, committing to him an Army well appointed in all respects, with strict Orders to ruin and destroy Deucetius. To which end he led forth the Army, and found Deucetius encamp'd near Nomae, where a Battel was fought, and after many kill'd on both sides, the Siculi after a valiant Resistance at last fled, but a great slaughter was made of 'em, in the Pursuit. Many of those that escap'd, fled to the Forts and Strong Holds, for few had Hearts and Courage enough to run the same Fortune with Deucetius.

Whilst these things were thus acting, the Agrigentines retook the Castle of Motyum by force, wherein at that time was a Garrison of Deucetius; then they march'd to the Victorious Syracusians, and both encamp'd together: But Deucetius having lost all his Treasure in the last Battel, was brought near to the utmost extremity, partly through the Treachery of some, and partly through the Cowardize of others of his Souldiers who deserted him.

At length seeing matters brought to so desperate a Condition, that his Friends who were yet about him were ready to lay violent Hands upon him, to prevent the execution of their Treacheries, he fled with all speed in the Night to Syracuse, and whilst it was yet dark, came into the Market-place, and fell down before the Altars, and as an humble Suppliant, gave up both himself and his Country into the Hands of the Syracusians. The strangeness of the thing brought a great Concourse of People together into the Market-place. Upon which, a General Assembly of the Magistrates was call'd, and there it was debated what was to be done in this matter. Some who were used and lov'd to speak much to the People, persuaded them to take him as an Enemy, and for his many Acts of Hostility against them, to punish him accordingly. But the Wiser sort of the Senators who were then present, declar'd that the Suppliant was to be preserved, and that a reverend regard was to be had to the Providence of God; and that they should not have respect so much to what Deucetius deserved, as seriously to consider what was fit and just for them to do in such a case. To kill one whom Providence had laid as a Suppliant at their Feet, was unjust, but to preserve and keep to the Rules of Piety towards God, and Humanity towards Men that submit to Mercy, greatly became the Generosity of the Syracusians. Hereupon the People unanimously cried out, Let the Suppliant be safe. Deucetius thus deliver'd, the Syracusians sent him back to Corinth, and commanded him there to continue the rest of his Days, with a Promise to supply him with all things necessary for his comfortable support. And now having perform'd our Promise in setting forth those things that happened the Year next before the Athenian Expedition into Cyprus under Cymon their General, we conclude this Book.

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