Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XIII - The Library of History

Page 320


Commotions in Sicily. The Carthaginians invited thither by the Aegistines. A Sea-Fight at Darclanum between the Athenians and Lacedemonians. A Sedition in Corcyra. The Sea-Fight at Cyzicum; and at Cleros by Land, wherein the Athenians were Victors.

THE former Year ended, Glaucippus was created Archon at Athens, and at Rome, Marcus Cornelius, and Lucius Furius were again chosen Consuls. About this time the Aegistines (who had confederated with the Athenians) after the War was ended in Sicily against the Syracusians) were in great fear (as they had just cause) lest the Siculi should revenge themselves upon them for the many acts of Hostility they committed against them. And therefore when the Selinuntines made War upon them concerning some Boundaries that were in Dispute, they submitted, lest the Syracusians should take that occasion to join with the Selinuntines, and so hazard the loss of their Country. But when they encroached farther upon their Territories than was agreed upon, the Aegistines desir'd aid of the Carthaginians, and freely offer'd their City to their Protection. When the Embassadors came to Carthage, and had deliver'd their Message to the Senate, the Carthaginians were much perplexed what to resolve: The desire of so convenient a City strongly inclin'd them upon one hand, and the fear of the Syracusians who had lately destroy'd so powerful an Army of the Athenians, discourag'd them on the other. But at length their Ambition to gain the City previal'd. The Answer therefore to the Embassadors was, that they would send them aid. For the management of this Affair (in case it should break out into a War) they made Hannibal General, who was then according to their Law chief Magistrate of Carthage. He was the Grandchild of Amilcar (who was kill'd at Himera at the Battel fought with Gelon) and Son of Ges •on, who for killing of his Father, was Banish'd, and liv'd at Selinunta. Hannibal therefore in regard he bore a natural Hatred against the Grecians, and desired by his own Valour to wipe off the stain of his Family, was very earnest to make himself remarkable by some eminent Service for the advantage of his Country. Therefore when he understood that the Selinuntines were not satisfy'd with that part of Land which was yielded to them, he together with the Aegistines sends Embassadors to the Syracusians, referring the Controversie to their Determination; in Words seeming to propose all things fair and just; but in Truth with hopes that if the Selinuntines should decline the Arbitration, the Syracusians would cast off their Confederacy and League with them. But when the Selinuntines (who sent likewise their Embassadors) refused to stand to their Decision, and strongly opposed both the Carthaginean and Aegistean Embassadors, the Syracusians were at length resolved both to be at peace with the Carthaginians, and likewise to stand to their League with the Selinuntines. Upon which, when the Embassadors were return'd, the Carthaginians sent to the Aegistines Five Thousand Men from Africa, and Eight Hundred from Campania. These were formerly hired by the Calcideans for the assistance of the Athenians against the Syracusians, but after their overthrow sailing back, they knew not under whom to serve. The Carthaginians therefore bought them all Horses, and giving them large Pay, plac'd them in a Garrison at Aegista. But the Selinuntines who were then both Rich and Populous, valu'd not the Aegistines one jot.

At the first with a well form'd Army, they spoil'd the Country next adjoining to them; at length in regard they far exceeded the Aegistines in number, they despis'd them, and dispers'd themselves, ravaging all over the Country. The Aegistean Commanders watching their opportunity, with the help of the Carthagineans and Campanians, set upon them unawares: And the Assault being sudden and unexpected, they easily routed and put them to flight. They kill'd a Thousand, and took all their Baggage. After this Fight, both sides sent forth their Embassadors, the Selinuntines to the Syracusians, and the Aegistines

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