Diodorus Siculus

BOOK XIII - The Library of History

Page 339


Therma built in Sicily by the Carthaginians. They raise Forces to invade Italy. The noble Temple at Agrigentum. The ancient Grandeur of that City. The Riches of Gellias a Citizen there, and some others. Agrigentum besieg'd. The Syracusians under Daphneus rout the Carthaginians near Agrigentum. Imilcar seizes the Syracusian Fleet, and takes all the Provision going to Agrigentum, which was afterwards quit by the Inhabitants: Their miserable Condition. The Phalarian Bull.

IN Sicily the Syracusians sent Embassadors to Carthage, to complain of the late War made upon them, and to persuade them to Peace for the time to come. To which the Carthaginians return'd a doubtful Answer. In the mean time they raise again a numerous Army, and were unanimously resolv'd to do their utmost to subdue all the Cities of Sicily: But before they transported their Armies, having got together out of Carthage, and other Cities in Africa many that were willing to transplant themselves, they built a new City call'd Therma, near the hot Baths in Sicily.

The Affairs of this Year concluded; at Athens Callias was made chief Magistrate, and at Rome, Lucius Furius, and Cneius Pompeius were created Consuls. At this time the Carthaginians pusst up with their Successes in Sicily, and coveting the gaining of the whole Island, determin'd to that end, to raise a great Army; and thereof made Hannibal General (the same that had raz'd Selinunte and Himera) and invested him with full power for the management of the War. But because he endeavour'd to excuse himself by reason of his Age, they join'd Imilco in Commission with him, the Son of Hanno, one of the same Family. These Generals consulted together, and sent some eminent Carthaginians with great Sums of Money, to raise Souldiers both out of Spain and the Baleary Islands. They rais'd likewise throughout Lybia, Carthaginians and Africans, and out of every City such as were most able for War. There came likewise to them from the Nations and Princes of their Confederates Abroad, both Mauritanians and Numidians, and some from the Parts near to Cyrene. Besides these, there were transported into Africa, Campanians hired out of Italy. These Campanians they had experienc'd to be very useful to them, when those whom they had left in Sicily, by reason of some old Grudge they bore the Carthaginians, were suspected to be ready to side with the Sicilians. At length, when all the Forces together were mustered at Carthage, Timeus reports they were not much above an Hundred and Twenty Thousand Men; but Ephorns affirms that they were Three Hundred Thousand.

The Carthaginians now prepare all things necessary for the Transporting of the Army; they equipt out all their Men of War, and brought together no less than a Thousand Transport Ships. Forty of their Gallies were sent before into Sicily, which were presently encounter'd with as many by the Syracusians at Eryx, where after a long and sharp Dispute, Fifteen of the Carthaginian Ships were sunk, the rest by the advantage of Night fled clear away. When the News of this Defeat was brought to Carthage, Hannibal the General sail'd away with Fifty Gallies, contriving both to make the Enemy's Victory fruitless, and the better likewise to secure the transport of his Army. When the coming of Hannibal was nois'd through the Island, all were of Opinion that he intended forthwith to transport all his Forces thither: Upon which, all the Cities (hearing of the greatness of his Preparations, and that they were now like to lay all at stake) were struck with fear and amazement. The Syracusians therefore sent Embassadors both to the Grecians in Italy, and to the Lacedemonians, to desire aid and assistance. They sent Letters likewise to all the Magistrates of the Cities up and down, to intreat them that they would stir up the People to join every where in Arms for the common Defence of the Liberty of their Country. The Agrigentines considering the greatness of the Carthaginian

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