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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Library of History

Diodorus Siculus

published in Vol. VI
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1954

The text is in the public domain.

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and I believe it to be free of errors.
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(Vol. VI) Diodorus Siculus
Library of History

(Book XIV, continued)

p123 40 1 The inhabitants of Rhegium, who were colonists of Chalcis, were angered to see the growing power of Dionysius. For he had sold into slavery the Naxians and Catanians,1 their kinsmen, and to the Rhegians, because they were of the same blood as2 these unfortunate peoples, this act was the cause of no ordinary concern, since all feared the same disaster p125would befall them. 2 They therefore decided to take the field speedily against the tyrant before he became entirely secure. Their decision upon war was forthwith supported strongly also by the Syracusans who had been exiled by Dionysius, for most of them were at that time resident in Rhegium and were continually discussing the matter and pointing out that all the Syracusans would seize the occasion to join in an attack. 3 In the end the Rhegians appointed generals and sent out with them six thousand infantry, six hundred cavalry, and fifty triremes. The generals crossed the strait and induced the generals of the Messenians to join in the war, declaring that it would be a terrible thing for them to stand idly by when Greek cities, and their neighbours, had been totally destroyed by the tyrant. 4 Now the generals were won over by the Rhegians and, without obtaining a vote of the people, led forth their forces which consisted of four thousand infantry, four hundred cavalry, and thirty triremes. But when the armaments we have mentioned had advanced as far as the borders of Messenê, opposition broke out among the soldiers due to a harangue delivered by the Messenian Laomedon; 5 for he advised them not begin a war against Dionysius who had done them no wrong. Accordingly the Messenian troops, since the people had not approved the war, followed his advice at once, and, deserting their generals, turned back home; 6 and the Rhegians, since they were not strong enough alone for a battle, when they saw that the Messenians p127were disbanding their army, also turned back speedily to Rhegium. At the outset Dionysius had led out his army to the border of the Syracusan territory, awaiting the attack of the enemy; but when he learned of their retirement, he led his forces back to Syracuse. 7 When the Rhegians and Messenians sent ambassadors to treat upon terms of peace, he decided that it was to his advantage to put an end to enmity against these states and concluded peace.

41 1 When Dionysius observed that some of the Greeks were deserting to the Carthaginian domain, taking with them their justice and their estates, he concluded that so long as he was at peace with the Carthaginians many of his subjects would be wanting to join their defection, whereas, if there were war, all who had been enslaved by the Carthaginians would revolt to him. And he also heard that many Carthaginians in Libya had fallen victims to a plague which had raged among them. 2 Thinking for these reasons, then, that he had a favourable occasion for war, he decided that preparation should first be effected; for he assumed that the war would be a great and protracted one since he was entering a struggle with the most powerful people of Europe. 3 At once, therefore, he gathered skilled workmen, commandeering them for from the cities under his control and attracting them by high wages from Italy and Greece as well as Carthaginian territory. For his purpose was to make weapons in great numbers and every kind of missile, and also quadriremes and quinqueremes, no ship of the latter size having yet p129been built at that time.3 4 After collecting many skilled workmen, he divided them into groups in accordance with their skills, and appointed over them the most conspicuous citizens, offering great bounties to any who created a supply of arms. As for the armour, he distributed among them models of each kind, because he had gathered his mercenaries from many nations; 5 for he was eager to have every one of his soldiers armed with the weapons of his people, conceiving that by such armour his army would, for this very reason, cause great consternation, and that in battle all of his soldiers would fight to best effect in armour to which they were accustomed. 6 And since the Syracusans enthusiastically supported the policy of Dionysius, it came to pass that rivalry rose high to manufacture the arms. For not only was every space, such as the porticoes and back rooms of the temples as well as the gymnasia and colonnades of the market place, crowded with workers, but the making of great quantities of arms went on, apart from such public places, in the most distinguished homes.

42 1 In fact the catapult was invented at this time in Syracuse,4 since the ablest skilled workmen had been gathered from everywhere into one place. The high wages as well as the numerous prizes offered the workmen who were judged to be the best stimulated p131their zeal. And over and above these factors, Dionysius circulated daily among the workers, conversed with them in kindly fashion, and rewarded the most zealous with gifts and invited them to his table. 2 Consequently the workmen brought unsurpassable devotion to the devising of many missiles and engines of war that were strange and capable of rendering great service. He also began the construction of quadriremes and quinqueremes, being the first to think of the construction of such ships. 3 For, hearing that triremes had first been built in Corinth, he was intent, in his city that had been settled by a colony from there, on increasing the scale of naval construction. 4 After obtaining leave to transport timber from Italy he dispatched half of his woodmen to Mount Aetnê, on which there were heavy stands at that time of both excellent fir and pine, while the other half he dispatched to Italy, where he got ready teams to convey the timber to the sea, as well as boats and crews to bring the worked wood speedily to Syracuse. 5 When Dionysius had collected an adequate supply of wood, he began at one and the same time to build more than two hundred ships and to refit the one hundred and ten he already had; and he also constructed about the Great Harbour, as it is now called, one hundred and sixty costly ship-sheds, and repaired the one hundred and fifty which were already there.

43 1 With so many arms and ships under construction p133at one place the beholder was filled with utter wonder at the sight. For whenever a man gazed at the eagerness shown in the building of the ships, he thought that every Greek in Sicily was engaged on their construction; and when, on the other hand, he visited the places where men were making arms and engines of war, he thought that all available labour was engaged on this alone. 2 Moreover, despite the unsurpassable zeal devoted to the products we have mentioned, there were made one hundred and forty thousand shields and a like number of daggers and helmets; and in addition corselets were made ready, of every design and wrought with utmost art, more than fourteen thousand in number. 3 These Dionysius expected to distribute to his cavalry and the commanders of the infantry, as well as to the mercenaries who were to form his bodyguard. He also had catapults made of every style and a large number of the other missiles. 4 For half of the ships of war which were prepared, the pilots, officers at the bow, and rowers were drawn from citizens, while for the rest of the vessels Dionysius hired mercenaries. When the building of the ships and the making of arms were completed, Dionysius turned his attention to the gathering of soldiers; for he believed it advantageous not to hire them far in advance in order to avoid heavy expenses.

5 In this year Astydamas,5 the writer of tragedies, produced his first play; and he lived sixty years.

The Romans were besieging Veii, and when a sortie p135was made from the city, some of the Romans were cut to pieces by the Veientes and others escaped by shameful flight.

44 1 When this year had come to an end, Ithycles was archon in Athens and in Rome five military tribunes were established in place of the consuls, Lucius Julius, Marcus Furius, Marcus Aemilius, Gaius Cornelius, and Caeso Fabius. Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, as soon as the major part of the task of making arms and building a fleet was completed, turned at once to the gathering of soldiers. 2 From the Syracusans he enrolled those who were fit for military service in companies and from the cities subject to him he summoned their able men. He also gathered mercenaries from Greece, and especially from the Lacedaemonians, for they, in order to aid him in building up his power, gave him permission to enlist as many mercenaries from them as he might wish. And, speaking generally, since he made a point of gathering his mercenary force from many nations and promised high pay, he found men who were responsive.

3 Since Dionysius was going to raise up a great war, he addressed himself to the cities of Sicily with courtesy, eliciting their goodwill. He saw that the Rhegians and Messenians who dwelt on the Strait6 had a strong army mobilized and he feared that, when the Carthaginians crossed over to Sicily, they would join the Carthaginians; for these cities would add no little weight to the side with which they allied themselves for the war. 4 Since these considerations p137were the cause of great concern to Dionysius, he made a present to the Messenians of a large piece of territory on their borders, binding them to him by such a benefaction; and to the Rhegians he dispatched ambassadors, urging them to form a connection by marriage and to give him in marriage a maiden who was a citizen of theirs; and he promised that he would win for them a large section of neighbouring territory and do all that was in his power to add to the strength of their city. 5 For since his wife, the daughter of Hermocrates, had been slain at the time the cavalry revolted,7 he was eager to beget children, in the belief that the loyalty of his offspring would be the strongest safeguard of his tyrannical power. Nevertheless, when an assembly of the people was held in Rhegium to consider Dionysius' proposal, after much discussion the Rhegians voted not to accept the marriage connection.8 6 Now that Dionysius had failed of this design, he dispatched his ambassadors for the same purpose to the people of the Locrians.9 When they voted to approve the marriage connection, Dionysius sued for the hand of Doris, the daughter of Xenetus, who at that time was their most esteemed citizen. 7 A few days before the marriage he sent to Locri a quinquereme, the first one he had built, embellished with silver and gold furnishings; on this he had the maiden conveyed to Syracuse, where he led her into the acropolis. 8 And he also sought in marriage from among the people of his city the most notable maiden among them, Aristomachê,10 p139for whom he dispatched a chariot drawn by four white horses to bring her to his own home.

45 1 After Dionysius had taken in marriage both maidens at the same time, he gave a series of public dinners for the soldiers and the larger part of the citizens; for he now renounced the oppressive aspect of his tyranny, and changing to a course of equitable dealing, he ruled over his subjects in more humane fashion, no more putting them to death or banishing them, as had been his practice. 2 After his marriages he let a few days pass and then called an assembly of the Syracusans and urged them to make war against the Carthaginians, declaring that they were most hostile to all Greeks generally and that they had designs at every opportunity on the Greeks of Sicily in particular. 3 For the present, he pointed out, the Carthaginians were inactive because of the plague which had broken out among them and had destroyed the larger part of the inhabitants of Libya, but when they had recovered their strength, they would not refrain from attacking the Sicilian Greeks, against whom they had been plotting from the earliest time. 4 It was therefore preferable, he continued, to wage a decisive war upon them while they were still weak than to wait and compete when they were strong. At the same time he pointed out how terrible a thing it was to allow the Greek cities to be enslaved by barbarians, and that these cities would the more zealously join in the war, the more eagerly they desired to obtain their freedom. 5 After speaking at length in support of his policy he speedily won the approval of the Syracusans. Indeed they were no less eager than he for war, first of all because of their hatred of the Carthaginians who were the cause of their being p141compelled to take orders from the tyrant; secondly, because they hoped that Dionysius would treat them in more humane fashion because of his fear of the enemy and of an attack upon him by the citizens he had enslaved; but most of all, because they hoped that once they had got weapons in their hand, they could strike for their liberty, let Fortune but give them the opportunity.

46 1 After the meeting of the assembly the Syracusans, with the permission of Dionysius, seized as plunder the property of the Phoenicians; for no small number of Carthaginians had their homes in Syracuse and rich possessions, and many also of their merchants had vessels in the harbour loaded with goods, all of which the Syracusans plundered. 2 Similarly the rest of the Sicilian Greeks drove out the Phoenicians who dwelt among them and plundered their possessions; for although they hated the tyranny of Dionysius, they were still glad to join in the war against the Carthaginians because of the cruelty of that people. 3 For the very same reasons, too, the inhabitants of the Greek cities under the rule of the Carthaginians, as soon as Dionysius publicly enacted war, made open display of their hatred of the Phoenicians; for not only did they seize their property as plunder, but they also laid hands on their persons and subjected them to every kind of physical torture and outrage, remembering what they had themselves suffered during the time of their captivity. 4 So far did they go in the vengeance they wreaked on the Phoenicians both at this time and subsequently, that the Carthaginians were taught p143the lesson no more to transgress the law in their treatment of conquered peoples; for they did not fail to realize, learning as they did by very deeds, that in war Fortune is impartial to both combatants and in defeat both sides must suffer the same sort of thing that they themselves have done to those who were unfortunate.

5 Now when Dionysius had made ready all his preparations for the war, he determined to send messengers to Carthage with the announcement: The Syracusans declare war upon the Carthaginians unless they restore freedom to the Greek cities that they have enslaved.

Dionysius, then, was engaged in the affairs we have discussed.

6 Ctesias11 the historian ended with this year his History of the Persians, which began with Ninus and Semiramis. And in this year the most distinguished composers of dithyrambs were in their prime, Philoxenus of Cythera, Timotheüs of Miletus, Telestus of Selinus, and Polyeidus, who was also expert in the arts of painting and music.

47 1 At the close of the year, in Athens Lysiades12 became archon, and in Rome six military tribunes administered the office of consul, Popilius Mallius, Publius Maelius, Spurius Furius, and Lucius Publius.13 When Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, had completed all his preparations for the war according to his personal design, he sent a herald to Carthage, having given him a letter to the senate, 2 which contained p145the statement that the Syracusans had resolved to make war upon the Carthaginians unless they withdrew from the Greek cities. The herald accordingly, pursuant to his orders, sailed to Libya and delivered the letter to the senate. When it had been read in the council and subsequently before the people, it came about that the Carthaginians were not a little distressed at the thought of war; for the plague had killed great numbers of them, and they were also totally unprepared. 3 Nevertheless, they waited for the Syracusans to take the initiative and dispatched members of the senate with large sums of money to recruit mercenaries in Europe.14

4 Dionysius with the Syracusans, the mercenaries, and his allies marched forth from Syracuse and made his way towards Eryx.15 For not far from this hill lay the city of Motyê, a Carthaginian colony, which they used as their chief base of operations against Sicily; and Dionysius hoped that with this city in his power he would have no small advantage over his enemies. 5 In the course of his march he received from time to time the contingents from the Greek cities, supplying the full levy of each with arms; for they were all eager to join his campaign, hating as they did the heavy hand of Phoenician domination and relishing the prospect at last of freedom. 6 He received first the levy from Camarina, then those of Gela and Acragas; and after these he sent for the Himeraeans, whose home was on the other side of Sicily, and after adding the men of Selinus, as he passed by, he arrived p147at Motyê with all his army. 7 He had eighty thousand infantry, well over three thousand cavalry, and a little less than two hundred warships, and he was accompanied by not less than five hundred merchantmen loaded with great numbers of engines of war and all the other supplies needed.

48 1 Since the armament was on the great scale we have described, the people of Eryx were awed by the magnitude of the force and, hating the Carthaginians as they did, came over to Dionysius. The inhabitants of Motyê, however, expecting aid from the Carthaginians, were not dismayed at Dionysius' armament, but made ready to withstand a siege; for they were not unaware that the Syracusans would make Motyê the first city to sack, because it was most loyal to the Carthaginians. 2 This city was situated on an island lying six stades off Sicily, and was embellished artistically to the last degree with numerous fine houses, thanks to the prosperity of the inhabitants. It also had a narrow artificial causeway extending to the shore of Sicily, which the Motyans breached at this time, in order that the enemy should have no approach against them.

3 Dionysius, after reconnoitring the area, together with his engineers, began to construct moles leading to Motyê, hauled the warships up on land at the entrance of the harbour, and moored the merchantmen along the beach. 4 After this he left Leptines16 his admiral in command of the works, while he himself p149set out with the infantry of his army against the cities that were allies of the Carthaginians. Now the Sicani,17 fearing the great size of the army, all went over to the Syracusans, and of the rest of the cities only five remained loyal to the Carthaginians, these being Halicyae, Solûs, Aegesta, Panormus, and Entella. 5 Hence Dionysius plundered the territory of Solûs and Panormus, and that also of Halicyae, and cut down the trees on it, but he laid siege to Aegesta and Entella with strong forces and launched continuous attacks upon them, seeking to get control of them by force. Such was the state of the affairs of Dionysius.

49 1 Himilcon, the general of the Carthaginians, being himself busy with the mustering of the armaments and other preparations, dispatched his admiral with ten triremes under orders to sail speedily in secret against the Syracusans,18 enter the harbour by night, and destroy the shipping left behind there. 2 This he did, expecting to cause a diversion and force Dionysius to send part of his fleet back to the Syracusans. The admiral who had been dispatched carried out his orders with promptness and entered the harbour of the Syracusans by night while everyone was ignorant of what had taken place. Attacking unawares, he rammed the vessels lying at anchor along the shore, sank practically all of them, and then returned to Carthage. 3 Dionysius, after ravaging all the territory held by the Carthaginians and forcing p151the enemy to take refuge behind walls, led all his army against Motyê; for he hoped that when this city had been reduced by siege, all the others would forthwith surrender themselves to him. Accordingly, he at once put many times more men on the task of filling up the strait between the city and the coast, and, as the mole was extended, advanced his engines of war little by little toward the walls.

50 1 Meanwhile Himilcon, the admiral of the Carthaginians, hearing that Dionysius had hauled his warships up on land, manned at once his hundred vest triremes; for he assumed that if he appeared unexpectedly, he should easily seize the vessels which were hauled up on land in the harbour, since he would be master of the sea. Once he succeeded in this, he believed, he would not only relieve the siege of Motyê but also transfer the war to the city of the Syracusans. 2 Sailing forth, therefore, with one hundred ships, he arrived during the night at the territory of Selinus, skirted the promontory of Lilybaeum, and arrived at daybreak at Motyê. Since his appearance took the enemy by surprise, he disabled some of the vessels anchored along the shore by ramming and others by burning, for Dionysius was unable to come to their defence. 3 After this he sailed into the harbour and drew up his ships as if to attack the vessels which the enemy had drawn up on land. Dionysius now massed his army at the entrance of the harbour; but when he saw that the enemy was lying in wait to attack as the ships left the harbour, he refused to risk launching his ships within the harbour, since he realized that the narrow entrance compelled a few ships to p153match themselves against an enemy many times more numerous.19 4 Consequently, using the multitude of his soldiers, he hauled his vessels over the land with no difficulty and launched them safely in the sea outside the harbour. Himilcon attacked the first ships, but was held back by the multitude of missiles; for Dionysius had manned the ships with a great number of archers and slingers, and the Syracusans slew many of the enemy by using from the land the catapults which shot sharp-pointed missiles. Indeed this weapon created great dismay, because it was a new invention at this time. As a result, Himilcon was unable to achieve his design and sailed away to Libya, believing that a sea-battle would serve no end, since the enemy's ships were double his in number.

51 1 After Dionysius had completed the mole20 by employing a large force of labourers, he advanced war engines of every kind against the walls and kept hammering the towers with his battering-rams, while with the catapults he kept down the fighters on the battlements; and he also advanced against the walls his wheeled towers, six stories high, which he had built to equal the height of the houses. 2 The inhabitants of Motyê, now that the threat was at hand-grips, were nevertheless not dismayed by the armament of Dionysius, even though they had for the moment no allies to help them. Surpassing the besiegers in thirst for glory, they in the first place raised p155up men in crow's-nests resting on yard-arms suspended from the highest possible masts, and these from their lofty positions hurled lighted fire-brands and burning tow with pitch on the enemies' siege engines. 3 The flame quickly caught the wood, but the Sicilian Greeks, dashing to the scene, swiftly quenched it; and meantime the frequent blows of the battering-rams broke down a section of the wall. Since now both sides rushed with one accord to the place, the battle that ensued grew furious. 4 For the Sicilian Greeks, believing that the city was already in their hands, spared no effort in retaliating upon the Phoenicians for former injuries they had suffered at their hands, while the people of the city, envisioning the terrible fate of a life of captivity and seeing no possibility of flight either by land or by sea, faced death stoutly. 5 And finding themselves shorn of the defence of the walls, they barricaded the narrow lanes and made the last houses provide a lavishly constructed wall. From this came even greater difficulties for the troops of Dionysius. 6 For after they had burst through the wall and seemed to be already masters of the city, they were raked by missiles from men posted in superior positions. 7 Nevertheless, they advanced the wooden towers to the first houses and provided them with gangways;21 and since the siege machines were equal in height to the dwellings, the rest of the struggle was fought hand to hand. For the Sicilian Greeks would launch the gangways and force a passage by them on to the houses.

p157 52 1 The Motyans, as they took account of the magnitude of the peril, and with their wives and children before their eyes, fought the more fiercely out of fear for their fate. There were some whose parents stood by entreating them not to let them be surrendered to the lawless will of victors, who were thus wrought to a pitch where they set no value on life; others, as they heard the laments of their wives and helpless children, sought to die like men rather than to see their children led into captivity. 2 Flight of course from the city was impossible, since it was entirely surrounded by the sea, which was controlled by the enemy. Most appalling for the Phoenicians and the greatest cause of their despair was the thought how cruelly they had used their Greek captives and the prospect of their suffering the same treatment. Indeed there was nothing left for them but, fighting bravely, either to conquer or die. 3 When such an obstinate mood filled the souls of the besieged, the Sicilian Greeks found themselves in a very difficult position. 4 For, fighting as they were from the suspended wooden bridges, they suffered grievously both because of the narrow quarters and because of the desperate resistance of their opponents, who had abandoned hope of life. As a result, some perished in hand-to‑hand encounter as they gave and received wounds, and others, pressed back by the Motyans and tumbling from the wooden bridges, fell to their death on the ground. 5 In the end, while the kind of siege we have described had lasted some days, Dionysius made it his practice always toward evening to sound the trumpet for the recall of the fighters and break off p159the siege. When he had accustomed the Motyans to such a practice, the combatants on both sides retiring, he dispatched Archylus of Thurii with the élite troops, 6 who, when night had fallen, placed ladders against the fallen houses, and mounting by them, seized an advantageous spot where he admitted Dionysius' troops. 7 The Motyans, when they perceived what had taken place, at once rushed to the rescue with all eagerness, and although they were too late, none the less faced the struggle. The battle grew fierce and abundant reinforcements climbed the ladders, until at last the Sicilian Greeks wore down their opponents by weight of numbers.

53 1 Straightway Dionysius' entire army burst into the city, coming also by the mole, and now every spot was a scene of mass slaughter; for the Sicilian Greeks, eager to return cruelty for cruelty, slew everyone they encountered, sparing without distinction not a child, not a woman, not an elder. 2 Dionysius, wishing to sell the inhabitants into slavery for the money he could gather, at first attempted to restrain the soldiers from murdering the captives, but when no one paid any attention to him and he saw that the fury of the Sicilian Greeks was not to be controlled, he stationed heralds to cry aloud and tell the Motyans to take refuge in the temples which were revered by the Greeks. 3 When this was done, the soldiers ceased their slaughter and turned to looting the property; and the plunder yielded much silver and not a little gold, as well as costly raiment and an abundance of every other product of felicity. The city was given over by Dionysius to the soldiers p161to plunder, since he wished to whet their appetites for future encounters. 4 After this success he rewarded Archylus, who had been the first to mount the wall, with one hundred minas,22 and honoured according to their merits all others who had performed deeds of valour; he also sold as booty the Motyans who survived, but he crucified Daïmenes and other Greeks who had fought on the side of the Carthaginians and had been taken captive. 5 After this Dionysius stationed guards in the city whom he put under the command of Biton of Syracuse; and the garrison was composed largely of Siceli. He ordered Leptines his admiral with one hundred and twenty ships to lie in wait for any attempt by the Carthaginians to cross to Sicily; and he also assigned to him the siege of Aegesta and Entella, in accordance with his original plan to sack them. Then, since the summer was already coming to a close, he marched back to Syracuse with his army.

6 In Athens Sophocles, the son23 of Sophocles, began to produce tragedies and won the first prize twelve times.

54 1 When the year had come to an end, in Athens Phormion assumed the archonship and in Rome six military tribunes took the place of the consuls, Gnaeus Genucius, Lucius Atilius, Marcus Pomponius, Gaius Duilius, Marcus Veturius, and Valerius Publilius; and the Ninety-sixth Olympiad was celebrated, that in which Eupolis of Elis was the victor.24 2 In the year p163when these magistrates entered office Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, set out from Syracuse with his entire army and invaded the domain of the Carthaginians. While he was laying waste the countryside, the Halicyaeans in dismay sent an embassy to him and concluded an alliance. But the Aegestaeans, falling unexpectedly by night on their besiegers and setting fire to the tents where they were camped, threw the men in the encampment into great confusion; 3 for since the flames spread over a large area and the fire could not be brought under control, a few of the soldiers who came to the rescue lost their lives and most of the horses were burned, together with the tents. 4 Now Dionysius ravaged the Carthaginian territory without meeting any opposition, and Leptines his admiral from his quarters in Motyê kept watch against any approach of the enemy by sea.

The Carthaginians, when they learned of the magnitude of the armament of Dionysius, resolved far to surpass him in their preparations. 5 Consequently, lawfully according Himilcon sovereign power,25 they gathered armaments from all Libya as well as from Iberia, summoning some from their allies and in other cases hiring mercenaries. In the end they collected more than three hundred thousand infantry, four thousand cavalry in addition to chariots, which numbered four hundred, four hundred ships of war, and over six hundred other vessels to convey food and engines of war and other supplies. These are the numbers stated by Ephorus. 6 Timaeus, on p165the other hand, says that the troops transported from Libya did not exceed one hundred thousand and declares that an additional thirty thousand were enlisted in Sicily.

55 1 Himilcon gave sealed orders to all the pilots with commands to open them after they had sailed and to carry out the instructions. He devised this scheme in order that no spy should be able to report to Dionysius where they would put in; and the orders read for them to put in at Panormus. 2 When a favourable wind arose, all the vessels cast off their cables and the transports put out to open sea, but the triremes sailed into the Libyan Sea and skirted the land.26 The wind continued favourable, and as soon as the leading vessels of the transports were visible from Sicily, Dionysius dispatched Leptines with thirty triremes under orders to ram and destroy all he could intercept. 3 Leptines sailed forth promptly and straightway sank, together with their men, the first ships he encountered, but the rest, having all canvas spread and catching the wind with their sails, easily made their escape. Nevertheless, fifty ships were sunk, together with five thousand soldiers and two hundred chariots.

4 After Himilcon had put in at Panormus and disembarked his army, he advanced toward the enemy, ordering the triremes to sail along beside him; and having himself taken Eryx by treachery as he passed, p167he took up quarters before Motyê. Since Dionysius and his army were during this time at Aegestê, Himilcon reduced Motyê by siege. 5 Although the Sicilian Greeks were eager for a battle, Dionysius conceived it to be better, both because he was widely separated from his allied cities and because the transport of his food supplies was reduced, to renew the war in other areas. 6 Having decided, therefore, to break camp, he proposed to the Sicani to abandon their cities for the present and to join him in the campaign; and in return he promised to give them richer territory of about equal size and, at the conclusion of the war, to return to their native cities any who so wished. 7 Of the Sicani only a few, fearing that, if they refused, they would be plundered by the soldiers, agreed to Dionysius' offer. The Halicyaeans similarly deserted him and sent ambassadors to the Carthaginian camp and concluded an alliance with them. And Dionysius set out for Syracuse, laying waste the territory though which he led his army.

56 1 Himilcon, now that his affairs were proceeding as he wished, made preparations to lead his army against Messenê, being anxious to get control of the city because of its favourable facilities; for it had an excellent harbour, capable of accommodating all his ships, which numbered more than six hundred, and Himilcon also hoped that by getting possession of the straits he would be able to bar any aid from the Italian Greeks and hold in check the fleets that might come from the Peloponnesus. 2 With this programme in mind, he formed relations of friendship with the p169Himeraeans and the dwellers in the fort of Cephaloedium,27 and seizing the city of Lipara, he exacted thirty talents from the inhabitants of the island.28 Then he set out in person with his entire army toward Messenê, his ships sailing along the coast beside him. 3 Completing the distance in a brief time, he pitched his camp at Peloris, at a distance of one hundred stades from Messenê. When the inhabitants of this city learned that the enemy was at hand, they could not agree among themselves about the war. 4 One party, when they heard reports of the great size of the enemy's army and observed that they themselves were without any allies — what is more, that their own cavalry were at Syracuse — were fully convinced that nothing could save them from capture. When contributed most to their despair was the fact that their walls had fallen down and that the situation allowed no time for their repair. Consequently they removed from the city their children and wives and most valuable possessions to neighbouring cities. 5 Another party of the Messenians, however, hearing of a certain ancient oracle of theirs which ran, "Carthaginians must be bearers of water in Messenê," interpreted the utterance to their advantage, believing that the Carthaginians would serve as slaves in Messenê. 6 Consequently not only were they in a hopeful mood, but they made many others eager to face battle for their freedom. At once, then, they selected the ablest troops from among their young men and dispatched them to Peloris to prevent the enemy from entering their territory.

57 1 While the Messenians were busied in this way, p171Himilcon, seeing that they had sallied against his place of landing, dispatched two hundred ships against the city, for he hoped, as well he might, that while the soldiers were trying to prevent his landing, the crews of the ships would easily seize Messenê, stripped of defenders as it was. 2 A north wind sprang up and the ships with all canvas spread entered the harbour, while the messenians who were on guard at Peloris, in spite of their hurried return, failed to arrive before the ships. 3 Consequently the Carthaginians invested Messenê, forced their way through the fallen walls, and made themselves masters of the city. 4 Of the Messenians, some were slain as they put up a gallant fight, others fled to the nearest cities, but the great mass of the common people took to flight through the surrounding mountains and scattered among the fortresses of the territory; 5 of the rest, some were captured by the enemy and some, who had been cut off in the area near the harbour, hurled themselves into the sea in hopes of swimming across the intervening strait. These numbered more than two hundred and most of them were overcome by the current, only fifty making their way in safety to Italy. 6 Himilcon now brought his entire army into the city and at first set to work to reduce the forts over the countryside; but since they were strongly situated and the men who had fled to them put up gallant struggles, he retired to the city, having found himself unable to master them. After this he refreshed his army and made preparations to advance against Syracuse.

p173 58 1 The Siceli, who had hated Dionysius from of old and now had an opportunity to revolt, went over in a body, with the exception of the people of Assorus, to the Carthaginians. In Syracuse Dionysius set free the slaves and manned sixty ships from their numbers; he also summoned over a thousand mercenaries from the Lacedaemonians, and went about the countryside strengthening the fortresses and storing them with provisions. He was most concerned, however, to fortify the citadels of the Leontines and to store in them the harvest from the plains. 2 He also persuaded the Campanians who were dwelling in Catanê to move to Aetnê, as it is now called, since it was an exceptionally strong fortress. After this he led forth his entire army one hundred and sixty stades from Syracuse and encamped near Taurus, as it is called. He had at that time thirty thousand infantry, more than three thousand cavalry, and one hundred and eighty ships of war, of which only a few were triremes.

3 Himilcon threw down the walls of Messenê and issued orders to his soldiers to raze to the ground the dwellings, and to leave not a tile or timber or anything else but either to burn or break them. When the many hands of the soldiers speedily accomplished this task, no one would have known that the site had been occupied. 4 For, reflecting that the place was far separated from the cities which were his allies and yet was the most strategically situated of any in Sicily, he had determined that he would see either that it was kept uninhabited or that it was an arduous and prolonged task to rebuild it.

p175 59 1 After Himilcon had exhibited his hatred for the Greeks by the calamity he visited upon the Messenians, he dispatched Magon his admiral with his naval armament under orders to sail to the peak known as Taurus.29 This area had been taken by Siceli in large numbers, who, however, had no leader. 2 They had formerly been given by Dionysius the territory of the Naxians,30 but at this time, having been induced by Himilcon's offers, they occupied this peak. Since it was a strong position, both at this time and subsequent to the war, they made it their home, throwing a wall about it, and since those who gathered remained (menein) upon Taurus, they named the city Tauromenium.

3 Himilcon, advancing with his land forces, made so rapid a march that he arrived at the same time as Magon put in there by sea. But since there had recently been a fiery eruption from Mt. Aetnê as far as the sea, it was no longer possible for the land forces to advance in the company of the ships as they sailed beside them; for the regions along the sea were laid waste by the lava, as it is called, so that the land army had to take it was way around the peak of Aetnê. 4 Consequently he gave orders to Magon to come to port at Catanê, while he himself advanced speedily through the heart of the country with the intention of joining the ships on the Catanaean shore; for he was concerned lest, when his forces were divided, the Sicilian Greeks should fight a battle with Magon at sea. 5 And this is what actually took place. For Dionysius, when p177he realized that Magon had a short sail, whereas the route of the land forces was toilsome and long, hastened to Catanê with the object of attacking Magon by sea before the arrival of Himilcon. 6 His hope was that his land forces lined up along the coast would embolden his own troops while the enemy would be the more fearful, and, what was the most important consideration, that if he should suffer a reverse of some kind, the ships in distress would be able to take refuge in the camp of the land forces. 7 With this purpose in mind, he dispatched Leptines with his whole fleet under orders to engage with his ships in close order, and not to break his line lest he be endangered by the great numbers of his opponents; for, including merchantmen and oared vessels with brazen beaks, Magon had no less than five hundred ships.

60 1 When the Carthaginians saw the shore thronged with infantry and the ships of the Greeks bearing down on them, they were at once not a little alarmed and began to make for the land; but later, when they realized the risk they ran of destruction in giving battle at the same time both to the fleet and to the infantry, they quickly changed their mind. Deciding, therefore, to face the battle at sea, they drew up their ships and awaited the approach of the enemy. 2 Leptines advanced with his thirty best vessels far ahead of the rest and joined battle, in no cowardly fashion, but without prudence. Attacking forthwith the leading ships of the Carthaginians, at the outset he sank no small number of the opposing triremes; p179but when Magon's massed ships crowded about the thirty, the forces of Leptines surpassed in valour, but the Carthaginians in numbers. 3 Consequently, as the battle grew fiercer, the steersmen laid their ships broadside in the fighting and the struggle came to resemble conflicts on land. For they did not drive upon the opposing ships from a distance in order to ram them, but the vessels were locked together and the fighting was hand to hand. Some, as they leaped for the enemy's ships, fell into the sea, and others, who succeeded in their attempt, continued the struggle on the opponents' ships. 4 In the end Leptines was driven off and compelled to flee to the open sea, and his remaining ships, attacking without order, were overcome by the Carthaginians; for the defeat suffered by the admiral raised the spirits of the Phoenicians and markedly discouraged the Sicilian Greeks.

5 After the battle had ended in the manner we have described, the Carthaginians pursued with even greater ardour the enemy who were fleeing in disorder, and destroyed more than one hundred of their ships, and stationing their lighter craft along the shore, they slew any of the sailors who were swimming toward the land army. 6 And as they perished in great numbers not far from the land, while the troops of Dionysius were unable to help them in any way, the whole region was full of corpses and wreckage. There perished in the sea battle no small number of Carthaginians, but the loss of the Sicilian Greeks amounted to more than one hundred ships and over twenty thousand men. 7 After the battle the Phoenicians anchored their triremes in the harbour of Catanê, p181took in tow the ships they had captured, and when they had brought them in, repaired them, so that they made the greatness of their success not only a tale for the ears but also a sight for the eyes of the Carthaginians.31

61 1 The Sicilian Greeks made their way toward Syracuse, but as they reflected that they would certainly be invested and forced to endure a laborious siege, they urged Dionysius to seek an immediate encounter with Himilcon because of his past victory; for, they said, perhaps their unexpected appearance would strike terror into the barbarians and they could repair their late reverse. 2 Dionysius was at first won over by these advisers and ready to lead his army against Himilcon, but when some of his friends told him that he ran the risk of losing the city if Magon should set out with his entire fleet against Syracuse, he quickly changed his mind; and in fact he knew that Messenê had fallen to the hands of the barbarians in a similar manner.32 And so, believing that it was not safe to strip the city of defenders, he set out for Syracuse. 3 The majority of the Sicilian Greeks, being angered at his unwillingness to encounter the enemy, deserted Dionysius, some of them departing to their own countries and others to fortresses in the neighbourhood.

4 Himilcon, who had reached in two days the coast of the Catanaeans, hauled all the ships up on land, since a strong wind had arisen, and, while resting his forces for some days, sent ambassadors to the Campanians p183who held Aetnê, urging them to revolt from Dionysius. 5 He promised both to give them a large amount of territory and to let them share in the spoils of the war; he also informed them that the Campanians dwelling in Entella found no fault with the Carthaginians and took their side against the Sicilian Greeks, and he pointed out that as a general thing the Greeks as a race are the enemies of all other peoples. 6 But since the Campanians had given hostages to Dionysius and had sent their choicest troops to Syracuse, they were compelled to maintain the alliance with Dionysius, although they would gladly have joined the Carthaginians.

62 1 After this Dionysius, who was in terror of the Carthaginians, sent his brother-in‑law Polyxenus as ambassador both to the Greeks in Italy and to the Lacedaemonians, as well as the Corinthians, begging them to come to his aid and not to suffer the Greek cities of Sicily to be utterly destroyed. He also sent to the Peloponnesus men with ample funds to recruit mercenaries, ordering them to enlist as many soldiers as they could without regard to economy. 2 Himilcon decked his ships with the spoils taken from the enemy and put in at the great harbour of the Syracusans, and he caused great dismay among the inhabitants of the city. For two hundred and fifty ships of war entered the harbour, with oars flashing in order and richly decorated with the spoils of war; then came the merchantmen, in excess of three thousand, laden with more than five hundred . . . ; and the whole p185fleet numbered some two hundred vessels.33 The result was that the harbour of the Syracusans, despite its great size, was blocked up by the vessels and it was almost entirely concealed from view by the sails. 3 The sails had just come to anchor when at once from the other side the land army advanced, consisting, as some have reported, of three hundred thousand infantry and three thousand cavalry. The general of the armaments, Himilcon, took up his quarters in the temple of Zeus and the rest of the multitude encamped in the neighbourhood twelve stades from the city. 4 After this Himilcon led out the entire army and drew up his troops in battle order before the walls, challenging the Syracusans to battle; and he also sailed up to the harbours with a hundred of his finest ships in order to strike terror into the inhabitants of the city and to force them to concede that they were inferior at sea as well. 5 But when no one ventured to come out against him, for the time being he withdrew his troops to the camp and then for thirty days overran the countryside, cutting down the trees and laying it all waste, in order not to only to satisfy the soldiers with every kind of plunder, but also to reduce the besieged to despair.

63 1 Himilcon seized the suburb of Achradinê; and he also plundered the temples of both Demeter and Corê, for which acts of impiety against the divinity he quickly suffered a fitting penalty. For his fortune quickly worsened from day to day, and whenever p187Dionysius made bold to skirmish with him, the Syracusans had the better of it. 2 Also at night unaccountable tumults would arise in the camp and the soldiers would rush to arms, thinking that the enemy was attacking the palisade. To this was added a plague which was the cause of every kind of suffering. But of this we shall speak a little later, in order that our account may not anticipate the proper time.

3 Now when he threw a wall about the camp, Himilcon destroyed practically all the tombs in the area,a among which was that of Gelon and his wife Demaretê, of costly construction.34 He also built three forts along the sea, one at Plemmyrium,35 one at the middle of the harbour, and one by the temple of Zeus, and into them he brought wine and grain and all other provisions, believing that the siege would continue a long time. 4 He also dispatched merchant ships to Sardinia and Libya to secure grain and every kind of food. Polyxenus, the brother-in‑law of Dionysius, arrived from the Peloponnesus and Italy, bringing thirty warships from his allies, with Pharacidas36 the Lacedaemonian as admiral.

64 1 After this Dionysius and Leptines had set out with warships to escort a supply of provisions; and the Syracusans, who were thus left to themselves, seeing by chance a vessel approaching laden with food, sailed out against it with five ships, seized it, and brought it to the city. 2 The Carthaginians put out against them with forty ships, whereupon the p189Syracusans manned all their ships and in the ensuing battle both captured the flag-ship and destroyed twenty-four of the remainder; and then, pursuing the fleeing ships as far as the enemy's anchorage, they challenged the Carthaginians to battle. 3 Elated at their success and thinking how often Dionysius had met defeat, whereas a they, without his presence, had won a victory over the Carthaginians, they were now puffed up with pride. 4 And as they gathered in groups they talked together about how they took no steps to end their slavery to Dionysius, even though they had an opportunity to depose him; for up until then they had been without arms,37 but now because of the war they had weapons at their command. 5 Even while discussions of this kind were taking place, Dionysius sailed into the harbour and, calling an assembly, praised the Syracusans and urged them to be of good courage, promising that he would speedily put an end to the war. And he was on the point of dismissing the assembly when Theodorus, a Syracusan, who was held in high esteem among the cavalry and was considered a man of action, made bold to speak as follows in regard to their liberty.

65 1 "Although Dionysius has introduced some falsehoods, the last statement he made was true: that he would speedily put an end to the war. He could accomplish this if he were no longer our commander — for he has often been defeated — but had p191returned to the citizens the freedom their fathers enjoyed. 2 As things are, no one of us faces battle with good courage so long as victory differs not a whit from defeat; for if conquered, we shall have to obey the commands of the Carthaginians, and if conquerors, to have in Dionysius a harsher master than they would be. For even should the Carthaginians defeat us in war, they would only impose a fixed tribute and would not prevent us from governing the city in accordance with our ancient laws; but this man has plundered our temples, has taken the property of private citizens together with the lives of their owners, and pays a wage to servants to secure the enslavement of their masters. Such horrors as attend the storming of cities are perpetrated by him in time of peace, yet he promises to put an end to the war with the Carthaginians. 3 But it behooves us, fellow citizens, to put an end not only to the Phoenician war but to the tyrant within our walls. For the acropolis, which is guarded by the weapons of slaves, is a hostile redoubt in our city; the multitude of mercenaries has been gathered to hold the Syracusans in slavery; and he lords it over the city, not like a magistrate dispensing justice on equal terms, but like a dictator who by policy makes all decisions for his own advantage. For the time being the enemy possess a small portion of our territory, but Dionysius has devastated it all and given it to those who join in increasing his tyranny.

4 "How long, then, are we to be patient though we suffer such abuses as brave men endure to die rather than to experience them? In battle against the Carthaginians we bravely face the final sacrifice, but against a harsh tyrant, in behalf of freedom and our fatherland, p193even in speech we no longer dare to raise our voices; we face in battle so many myriads of the enemy, but we stand in shivering fear of a single ruler, who has not the manliness of a superior slave.

66 1 "Surely no one would think of comparing Dionysius with Gelon38 of old. For Gelon, by reason of his own high character, together with the Syracusans and the rest of the Sicilian Greeks, set free the whole of Sicily, whereas this man, who found the cities free, has delivered all the rest of them over to the lordship of the enemy and has himself enslaved his native state. 2 Gelon fought so far forward in behalf of Sicily that he never let his allies in the cities even catch siege of the enemy, whereas this man, after fleeing from Motyê through the entire length of the island, has cooped himself up within our walls, full of confidence against his fellow citizens, but unable to bear even the sight of the enemy. 3 As a consequence Gelon, by reason both of his high character and of his great deeds, received the leadership by the free will not only of the Syracusans but also of the Sicilian Greeks, while, as for this man whose generalship has led to the destruction of his allies and the enslavement of his fellow citizens, how can he escape the just hatred of all? For not only is he unworthy of leadership but, if justice were done, would die ten thousand deaths. 4 Because of him Gela and Camarina were subdued, Messenê lies in total ruin, twenty thousand allies are perished in a sea-battle, and, in a word, we have been enclosed in one city and all the other Greek cities throughout Sicily p195have been destroyed. For in addition to his other malefactions he sold into slavery Naxos and Catanê; he has completely destroyed cities that were allies, cities whose existence was opportune. 5 With the Carthaginians he has fought two battles and has come out vanquished in each. Yet when he was entrusted with a generalship by the citizens but one time, he speedily robbed them of their freedom, slaying those who spoke openly on behalf of the laws and exiling the more wealthy; he gave the wives of the banished in marriage to slaves and to a motley throng; he put the weapons of citizens in the hands of barbarians and foreigners. And these deeds, O Zeus and all the gods, were the work of a public clerk, of a desperate man.

67 1 "Where, then, is the Syracusans' love of freedom? Where the deeds of our ancestors? I say nothing of the three hundred thousand Carthaginians who were totally destroyed at Himera;39 I pass by the overthrow of the tyrants who followed Gelon.40 But only yesterday, as it were, when the Athenians attacked Syracuse with such great armaments, our fathers left not a man free to carry back word of the disaster. 2 And shall we, who have such great examples of our fathers' valour, take orders from Dionysius, especially when we have weapons in our hands? Surely some divine providence has gathered us here, with allies about us and weapons in our hands, for the purpose of recovering our freedom, and it is within our power this day to play the part of brave men and rid ourselves with one accord of our heavy p197yoke. 3 For hitherto, while we were disarmed and without allies and guarded by a multitude of mercenaries, we have, I dare say, yielded to the pressure of circumstances; but now, since we have arms in our hands and allies to give us aid as well as bear witness of our bravery, let us not yield but make it clear that it was circumstances, not cowardice, that made us submit to slavery. 4 Are we not ashamed that we should have as commander in our wars the man who has plundered the temples of our city and that we choose as representative in such important matters a person to whom no man of good sense would entrust the management of his private affairs? And though all other peoples in times of war, because of the great perils they face, observe with the greatest care their obligations to the gods, do we expect that a man of such notorious impiety will put an end to the war?

68 1 "In fact, if a man cares to put a finer point on it, he will find that Dionysius is as wary of peace as he is of war. For he believes that, as matters stand, the Syracusans, because of their fear of the enemy, will not attempt anything against him, but that once the Carthaginians have been defeated they will claim their freedom, since they will have weapons in their hands and will be proudly conscious of their deeds. 2 Indeed this is the reason, in my opinion, why in the first war he betrayed Gela and Camarina41 and made these cities desolate, and why in his negotiations he agreed that most of the Greek cities should be given over to the enemy. 3 After this he broke faith in time p199of peace with Naxos and Catanê and sold the inhabitants into slavery, razing one to the ground and giving the other to the Campanians from Italy to dwell in. 4 And when, after the destruction of these peoples, the rest of Sicily made many attempts to overthrow his tyranny, he again declared war upon the Carthaginians; for his scruple against breaking his agreement in violation of the oaths he had taken was not so great as his fear of the surviving concentrations of the Sicilian Greeks.

"Moreover, it is obvious that he has been at all times on the alert to effect their destruction. 5 First of all at Panormus, when the enemy were disembarking and were in bad physical condition after the stormy passage, he could have offered battle, but did not choose to do. After that he stood idly by and sent no help to Messenê, a city strategically situated and of great size, but allowed it to be razed, not only in order that the greatest possible number of Sicilian Greeks should perish, but also that the Carthaginians might intercept the reinforcements from Italy and the fleets from the Peloponnesus. 6 Last of all, he joined battle offshore at Catanê, careless of the advantage of pitching battle near the city, where the vanquished could find safety in their own harbours. After the battle, when strong winds sprang up and the Carthaginians were forced to haul their fleet up on land, he had a most favourable opportunity for victory; 7 for the land forces of the enemy had not yet arrived and the violent storm was driving the enemy's ships on the shore. At that time, if we had all attacked on land, the only outcomes left the enemy would have been, either to be captured with p201ease, if they left their ships, or to strew the coast with wreckage, if they matched their strength against the waves.

69 1 "But to lodge accusations against Dionysius at greater length among Syracusans is, I should judge, not necessary. For if men who have suffered in very deed such irretrievable ruin are not roused to rage, will they, forsooth, be moved by words to wreak vengeance upon him — men too who have seen his behaviour as the worst of citizens, the harshest of tyrants, the most ignoble of all generals? 2 For as often as we have stood in line of battle under his command, so often have we been defeated, whereas but just now, when we fought independently, we defeated with a few ships the enemy's entire force. We should, therefore, seek out another leader, to avoid fighting under a general who has pillaged the shrines of the gods and so finding ourselves engaged in a war against the gods; 3 for it is manifest that heaven opposes those who have selected the worst enemy of religion to be their commander. Noting that when he is present our armies in full force suffer defeat, whereas, when he is absent, even a small detachment is sufficient to defeat the Carthaginians, should not all men see in this the visible presence of the gods? 4 Therefore, fellow citizens, if he is willing to lay down his office of his own accord, let us allow him to leave the city with his possessions; but if he does not choose to do so, we have at the present moment the fairest opportunity to assert our freedom. We are all gathered together; we have weapons in our hands; we have allies about us, not only the Greeks from Italy but also those from the Peloponnesus. 5 The chief command must be p203given, according to the laws, either to citizens, or to the Corinthians who dwell in our mother-city, or to the Spartans who are the first power in Greece."

70 1 After this speech by Theodorus the Syracusans were in high spirits and kept their eyes fixed on their allies; and when Pharacidas the Lacedaemonian, the admiral of the allies, stepped up to the platform, all expected that he would take the lead for liberty. 2 But he was on friendly terms with the tyrant and declared that the Lacedaemonians had dispatched him to aid the Syracusans and Dionysius against the Carthaginians, not to overthrow the rule of Dionysius. At this statement so contrary to expectation the mercenaries flocked about Dionysius, and the Syracusans in dismay made no move, although they called down many curses on the Spartans. 3 For on a previous occasion Aretes42 the Lacedaemonian, at the time that he was asserting the right of the Syracusans to freedom, had betrayed them, and now at this time Pharacidas vetoed the movement of the Syracusans. For the moment Dionysius was in great fear and dissolved the assembly, but later he won the favour of the multitude by kindly words, honouring some of them with gifts and inviting some to general banquets.

4 After the Carthaginians had seized the suburb and pillaged the temple of Demeter and Corê, a plague struck the army. Over and above the disaster sent by influence of the city, there were contributing p205causes: that myriads of people were gathered together, that it was the time of year which is most productive of plagues, and that the particular summer had brought unusually hot water. 5 It also seems likely that the place itself was responsible for the excessive extent of the disaster; for on a former occasion the Athenians too, who occupied the same camp, had perished in great numbers from the plague,43 since the terrain was marshy and in a hollow. 6 First, before sunrise, because of the cold from the breeze over the waters, their bodies were struck with chills, but in the middle of the day the heat was stifling, as must be the case when so great a multitude is gathered together in a narrow place.

71 1 Now the plague first attacked the Libyans, and, as many of them perished, at first they buried the dead, but later, both because of the multitude of corpses and because those who tended the sick were seized by the plague, no one dared approach the suffering.44 When even nursing was thus omitted, there was no remedy for the disaster. 2 For by reason of the stench of the unburied and the miasma from the marshes, the plague began with a catarrh; then came a swelling in the throat; gradually burning sensations ensued, pains in the sinews of the back, and a heavy feeling in the limbs; then dysentery supervened and pustules upon the whole surface of the body. 3 In most cases this was the course of the disease; but some became mad and totally lost their memory; they circulated through the camp, out of their mind, and struck at anyone they met. In general, as it turned out, even help by physicians was p207of no avail both because of the severity of the disease and the swiftness of the death; for death came on the fifth day or on the sixth at the latest, amidst such terrible tortures that all looked upon those who had fallen in the war as blessed. 4 In fact all who watched beside the sick were struck by the plague, and thus the lot of the ill was miserable, since no one was willing to minister to the unfortunate. For not only did any not akin abandon one another, but even brothers were forced to desert brothers, friends to sacrifice friends out of fear for their own lives.45

72 1 When Dionysius heard of the disaster that had struck the Carthaginians, he manned eighty ships and ordered Pharacidas and Leptines the admirals to attack the enemy's ships at daybreak, while he himself, profiting by a moonless night, made a circuit with his army and, passing by the temple of Cyanê,46 arrived near the camp of the enemy at daybreak before they were aware of it. 2 The cavalry and a thousand infantry from the mercenaries were dispatched in advance against that part of the Carthaginian encampment which extended toward the interior. These mercenaries were the most hostile, beyond all others, to Dionysius and had engaged time and again in factional quarrels and uproars. 3 Consequently Dionysius had issued orders to the cavalry that as soon as they came to blows with the enemy they should flee and leave the mercenaries p209in the lurch; when this order had been carried out and the mercenaries had been slain to a man, Dionysius set about laying siege to both the camp and the forts. While the barbarians were still dismayed at the unexpected attack and bringing up reinforcements in disorderly fashion, he on his part took by storm the fort known as Polichna; and on the opposite side the cavalry, aided in an attack by some of the triremes, stormed the area around Dascon. 4 At once all the warships joined in the attack, and when the army raised the war-cry at the taking of the forts, the barbarians were in a state of panic. For at the outset they had rushed in a body against the land troops in order to ward off the assailants of the camp; but when they saw the fleet also coming up to attack, they turned back to give help to the naval station. The swift course of events, however, outstripped them and their haste was without result. 5 Even as they were mounting on the decks and manning the triremes, the enemy's vessels, driven on by rowers, struck the ships athwart in many cases. Now one well-delivered blow would sink a damaged ship; but blows in repeated rammings, which broke through the nailed timbers, struck terrible dismay into the opponents. 6 Since all about the mightiest ships were being shattered, the rending of the vessels by the crushing blows raised a great noise and the shore extending along the scene of the battle was strewn with corpses.

73 1 The Syracusans, eagerly co‑operating in their success, rivalled one another in great zeal to be the p211first to board the enemy's ships, and surrounding the barbarians, who were terror-stricken at the magnitude of the peril they faced, put them to death. 2 Nor did the infantry who were attacking the naval station show less zeal than the others, and among them, it so happened, was Dionysius himself, who had ridden on horseback to the section about Dascon. Finding there forty ships of fifty oars, which had been drawn up on the beach, and beside them merchant ships and some triremes at anchor, they set fire to them. 3 Quickly the flame leaped up into the sky and, spreading over a large area, caught the shipping, and none of the merchants or owners was able to bring any help because of the violence of the blaze. Since a strong wind arose, the fires carried from the ships drawn up on land to the merchantmen lying at anchor. 4 When the crews dived into the water from fear of suffocation and the anchor cables were burnt off, the ships came into collision because of the rough seas, some of them being destroyed as they struck one another, and others as the wind drove them about, but the majority of them were victims of the fire. 5 Thereupon, as the flames swept up through the sails of the merchant-ships and consumed the yard-arms, the sight was like a scene from the theatre to the inhabitants of the city and the destruction of the barbarians resembled that of men struck by lightning from heaven for their impiety.

74 1 Forthwith, elated by the Syracusan successes, both the oldest youths and such aged men as were p213not yet entirely incapacitated by years manned lighters, and approaching without order all together made for the ships in the harbour. Those which the fire had ruined they plundered, stripping them of anything that could be saved, and such as were undamaged they took in tow and brought to the city. 2 Thus even those who by age were exempt from war duties were unable to restrain themselves, but in their excessive joy their ardent spirit prevailed over their age. When the news of the victory ran through the city, children and women, together with their households, left their homes, everyone hurrying to the walls, and the whole extent was crowded with spectators. 3 Of these some raised their hands to heaven and returned thanks to the gods, and others declared that the barbarians had suffered the punishment of heaven for their plundering of the temples. 4 For from a distance the sight resembled a battle with the gods, such a number of ships going up in fire, the flames leaping aloft among the sails, the Greeks applauding every success with great shouting, and the barbarians in their consternation at the disaster keeping up a great uproar and confused crying. 5 But as night came the battle ceased for the time, and Dionysius kept to the field against the barbarians, pitching a camp near the temple of Zeus.

75 1 Now that the Carthaginians had suffered defeat on land as well as on sea, they entered into negotiations with Dionysius without the knowledge of the Syracusans. They asked him to allow their remaining troops to cross back to Libya and promised to give p215him the three hundred talents which they had there in their camp. 2 Dionysius replied that he would not be able to allow the whole army to escape, but he consented to their citizen troops alone withdrawing secretly at night by sea; for he knew that the Syracusans and their allies would not allow him to make any such terms with the enemy. 3 Dionysius acted as he did to avoid the total destruction of the Carthaginian army, in order that the Syracusans, by reason of their fear of the Carthaginians, should never find a time of ease to assert their freedom. Accordingly Dionysius agreed that the flight of the Carthaginians should take place by night on the fourth day hence and led his army back into the city.

4 Himilcon during the night conveyed the three hundred talents to the acropolis and delivered them to the persons stationed on the island by the tyrant, and then himself, when the time agreed upon had arrived, manned forty triremes during the night with the citizens of Carthage and began his flight, abandoning all the rest of his army. He had already made his way across the harbour, when some of the Corinthians observed his flight and speedily reported it to Dionysius. 5 Since Dionysius took his time in calling the soldiers to arms and gathering the commanders, the Corinthians did not wait for him but speedily put out to sea against the Carthaginians, and vying with each other in their rowing they caught up with the last Phoenician ships, which they shattered with their rams and sent to the bottom. 6 After this Dionysius led out the army, but the Siceli, who were serving p217in the army of the Carthaginians, forestalling the Syracusans, fled through the interior and, almost to a man, made their way in safety to their native homes. 7 Dionysius stationed guards at intervals along the roads and then led his army against the enemy's camp, while it was still night. The barbarians, abandoned as they were by their general, by the Carthaginians, and by the Siceli as well, were dispirited and fled in dismay. 8 Some were taken captive as they fell in with weight guards on the roads, but the majority threw down their arms, surrendered themselves, and asked only that their lives be spared. Some Iberians alone massed together with their arms and dispatched a herald to treat about taking service with him. 9 Dionysius made peace with the Iberians and enrolled them in his mercenaries,47 but the rest of the multitude he made captive and whatever remained of the baggage he turned over to the soldiers to plunder.

76 1 With such swiftness did Fortune work a change in the affairs of the Carthaginians, and point out to all mankind that those who become elated above due measure quickly give proof of their own weakness. 2 For they who had in their hands practically all the cities of Sicily with the exception of Syracuse and expected its capture, of a sudden were forced to be anxious for their own fatherland; they who overthrew the tombs of the Syracusans gazed upon one hundred and fifty thousand dead lying in heaps and unburied because of the plague; they who wasted with fire the territory of the Syracusans now in their turn saw their own fleet of a sudden go usurp in flames; p219they who so arrogantly sailed with their whole armada into the harbour and flaunted their successes before the Syracusans had little thought that they were to steal away by night and leave their allies at the mercy of their enemy. 3 The general himself, who had taken the temple of Zeus for his headquarters and the pillaged wealth of the sanctuaries for his own possession, slipped away in disgrace to Carthage with a few survivors, in order that he might not by dying and paying a debt to nature go unscathed for his acts of impiety, but should in his native land lead a life that was notorious, while reproaches were heaped on him on every hand. 4 Indeed, so calamitous was his lot that he went about the temples of the city in the cheapest clothing, charging himself with impiety and offering acknowledged retribution to heaven for his sins against the gods. In the end he passed sentence of death upon himself and starved himself to death. And he bequeathed to his fellow citizens a deep respect for religion, for straightway Fortune heaped upon them the other calamities of war as well.

77 1 When the news of the Carthaginian disaster had spread throughout Libya, their allies, who had long hated the oppressive rule of the Carthaginians and even more at this time because of the betrayal of the soldiers at Syracuse, were inflamed against them. 2 Consequently, being led on partly by anger and partly by contempt for them because of the disaster they had suffered, they endeavoured to assert their independence. After exchanging messages with one another they collected an army, moved p221forward, and pitched camp in the open. 3 Since they were speedily joined not only by freemen but also by slaves, there was gathered in a short time a body of two hundred thousand men. Seizing Tynes, a city situated not far from Carthage,b they based their line of battle on it, and since they had the better of the fighting, they confined the Phoenicians within their walls. 4 The Carthaginians, against whom the gods were clearly fighting, at first gathered in small groups and in great confusion and besought the deity to put an end to its wrath; thereupon the entire city was seized by superstitious fear and dread, as every man anticipated in imagination the enslavement of the city. Consequently they voted by every means to propitiate the gods who had been sinned against. 5 Since they had included neither Corê nor Demeter in their rites, they appointed their most renowned citizens to be priests of these goddesses, and consecrating statues of them with all solemnity, they conducted their rites, following the ritual used by the Greeks. They also chose out the most prominent Greeks who lived among them and assigned them to the service of the goddesses. After this they constructed ships and made careful provision of supplies for the war.

6 Meanwhile the revolters, who were a motley mass, possessed no capable commanders, and what was of first importance, they were short of provisions because they were so numerous, while the Carthaginians brought supplies by sea from Sardinia. Furthermore, they quarrelled among themselves over the supreme command and some of them were bought off with Carthaginian money and deserted the common cause. As a result, both because of the lack of provisions and because of treachery on the part of some, they p223broke up and scattered to their native lands, thus relieving the Carthaginians of the greatest fear.

Such was the state of affairs in Libya at this time.

78 1 Dionysius, seeing that the mercenaries were most hostile to him and fearing that they might depose him, first of all arrested Aristotle, their commander. 2 At this, when the body of them ran together under arms and demanded their pay with some sharpness, Dionysius declared that he was sending Aristotle to Lacedaemon to face trial among his fellow citizens, and offered to the mercenaries, who numbered about ten thousand, in lieu of their pay the city and territory of the Leontines. 3 To this they gladly agreed because the territory was good land, and after portioning it out in allotments they made their home in Leontini. Dionysius then recruited other mercenaries and trusted in them and his freedmen to maintain the government.

4 After the disaster which the Carthaginians had suffered, the survivors from the cities of Sicily that had been enslaved gathered together, gained back their native lands, and revived their strength. 5 Dionysius settled in Messenê a thousand Locrians, four thousand Medmaeans,48 and six hundred Messenians from the Peloponnesus who were exiles from Zacynthus and Naupactus. But when he observed that the Lacedaemonians were offended that the Messenians whom they had driven out were settled in a renowned city, he removed them from Messenê, and giving them a place on the sea, he cut off some area of Abacaenê and annexed it to their territory. p2256 The Messenians named their city Tyndaris, and by living in concord together and admitting many to citizenship, they speedily came to number more than five thousand citizens.

7 After this Dionysius waged a number of campaigns against the territory of the Siceli, in the course of which he took Menaenum and Morgantinum and struck a treaty with Agyris, the tyrant of the Agyrinaeans, and Damon, the lord of the Centoripans, as well as with the Herbitaeans and the Assorini. He also gained by treachery Cephaloedium, Solûs, and Enna, and made peace besides with the Herbessini.

Such was the state of affairs in Sicily at this time.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Cp. chap. 15.

2 Or "they faced the same danger as."

3 W. W. Tarn, Hellenistic Military and Naval Developments, pp130‑131, questions the invention of quinqueremes at this time, since they are not heard of again until the time of Alexander the Great.

4 Machines for throwing heavy missiles were known to the Assyrians several centuries before this and their use was probably brought to the west by the Carthaginians, from whom the western Greeks learned of them.

5 Of Athens.

6 The Strait of Messina.

7 Cp. Book 13.112.4.

8 More on the reply in chap. 107.

9 The Epizephyrian Locrians in the "toe" of Italy.

10 Daughter of Hipparinus and sister of the famous Dion (Book 16.6).

11 Cp. Book 1.32.4.

12 The name should be Suniades (Kirchner, Prosopographia Attica, 12817).

13 There are only four names and they differ considerably from those in Livy, 5.12.

14 Presumably in Spain, where Hannibal had formerly gathered mercenaries (Book 13.44).

15 Cp. Book 4.83.

16 Brother of the tyrant.

17 On the origin of the Sicani see Book 5.6.

18 "To Syracuse" is meant, as also just below.

19 i.e. in the narrow entrance Dionysius could not use the great advantage he had in numbers.

20 It is an interesting coincidence of history that the other use of a mole of such magnitude in ancient history against an island city was by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. against Tyre, the mother-city of the Carthaginians. Alexander's mole was about half a mile long and reputed to be two hundred feet wide. For the story of the famous seven-month siege of Tyre see Book 17.40‑46, Arrian, Anab. 2.18‑24, Curtius, 4.2‑4.

21 These were small bridges which could be dropped or thrust from the towers across to opposing walls and in this case to the houses.

22 Some $1800.

23 He was the grandson of the great tragedian.

24 In the "stadion."

25 Strictly speaking, Himilcon was chosen one of the two annually elected suffetes, who corresponded in general to the Roman consuls, and put in command of the war.

26 The course of the triremes was to divert attention from the route of the transports. When sighted, as they would be, going east, Dionysius might well fear that they intended an attack on Syracuse. How the triremes got to Panormus without an encounter with Leptines is not told us.

27 Some fifteen miles east of Himera.

28 On Lipara see Book 5.10.

29 This is not the Taurus mentioned just above which lay near Syracuse, but the site of the later Tauromenium.

30 Cp. chap. 15.3.

31 i.e. the army of Himilcon.

32 Cp. chap. 57.

33 What Diodorus wrote in this sentence can never be known.

34 Cp. Book 11.38.4 f.

35 The headland which formed the south side of the entrance to the Great Harbour (Thucydides, 7.4).

36 Beloch (Rhein. Mus. 34.124) thinks that Pharacidas is the Pharax of Xenophon, Hell. 3.2.12, who was Spartan admiral in 397 B.C.

37 Cp. chap. 10.4.

38 See Book 11.21‑26.

39 Cp. Book 11.22.

40 Cp. Book 11.67‑68.

41 Cp. Book 13.111.

42 Cp. chap. 10 above, where he is called Aristus.

43 Cp. Book 13.12.

44 Perhaps the text added: "or the dead."

45 Hans Zinsser (Rats, Lice and History, pp124‑127) thinks that this plague was "the severe, confluent type of smallpox with death on the fifth or sixth day is not exceptional," despite the fact that there is almost general agreement among scholars that smallpox was not known in the Greek and Roman classical period.

46 Cp. Book 5.4.

47 These Iberians turn up later among the troops sent by Dionysius to aid the Lacedaemonians in 369 B.C. (Book 15.70; Xenophon, Hell. 7.1.20).

48 From Medma, a city of Bruttium, founded by the Locrians (Strabo, 6.1.5).

Thayer's Notes:

a Just a guess, but this may be what caused the plague: displacing large numbers of dead bodies in the hottest part of summer (70.4 ff.), hurriedly and thus most likely without taking precautions, can't be good for an army's health.

b The modern Tunis.

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