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Polybius, Histories 2 2 Browse Search
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology (ed. William Smith) 2 2 Browse Search
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Polybius, Histories, book 1, Hamilcar Barcas' Seven Years in Hercte (search)
arbour conveniently situated for the passage from Drepana and Lilybaeum to Italy, in which there is always abundant depth of water; finally, it can only be reached by three ways—two from the land side, one from the sea, all of them difficult. Here Hamilcar entrenched himself. It was a bold measure: but he had no city which he could count upon as friendly, and no other hope on which he could rely; and though by so doing he placed himself in the very midst of the enemy, he nevertheless managed to involve the Romans in many struggles and dangers. To begin with, he would start from this place and ravage the sea-board of Italy as far as Cumae; and again on shore, when the Romans had pitched a camp to overawe him, in front of the city of Panormus, within about five stades of him, he harassed them in every sort of way, and forced them to engage in numerous skirmishes, for the space of nearly three years. B. C. 247-244. Of these combats it is impossible to give a detailed account in writin
Polybius, Histories, book 10, The Hannibalian War — The Recovery of Tarentum (search)
roton; who, though only possessing roadsteads suitable for the summer, and enjoying therefore but a short season of mercantile activity, still have acquired great wealth, entirely owing, it seems, to the favourable situation of their town and harbour, which yet cannot be compared with those of Tarentum. For, even at this day, Tarentum is in a most convenient position in respect to the harbours of the Adriatic, and was formerly still more so. Since, from the Iapygian promontory as far as Sipontum, every one coming from the other side and dropping anchor at Italy always crossed to Tarentum, and used that city for his mercantile transactions as an emporium; for the town of Brundisium had not yet been founded in these times.The port of Brundisium was known long before. See Herod. 4. 99. The Romans colonised the town in B. C. 244. See Livy, epit. 19. Therefore Fabius regarded the recovery of it as of great importance, and, omitting everything else, turned his whole thoughts to this. . . .
Agis Iv. the elder son of Eudamidas II., was the 24th king of the Eurypontid line. He succeeded his father in B. C. 244, and reigned four years. In B. C. 243, after the liberation of Corinth by Aratus, the general of the Achaean league, Agis led an army against him, but was defeated. (Paus. 2.8.4.) The interest of his reign, however, is derived from events of a different kind. Through the influx of wealth and luxury, with their concomitant vices, the Spartans had greatly degenerated from the ancient simplicity and severity of manners. Not above 700 families of the genuine Spartan stock remained, and in consequence of the innovation introduced by Epitadeus, who procured a repeal of the law which secured to every Spartan head of a family an equal portion of land, the landed property had passed into the hands of a few individuals, of whom a great number were females, so that not above 100 Spartan families possessed estates, while the poor were burdened with debt. Agis, who from his earl
hile yet a young man to the sovereignty of his native city. We know nothing of the steps by which he rose to power, but he is represented to us as a man of an ambitious built generous character, whho was misled by false rhetorical arguments to believe a monarchical government to be the best for his fellow-citizens. (Plut. Arat. 30; Paus. 8.27.12.) So far as we are able to judge, his elevation appears to have taken place about the time that Antigonus Gonatas made himself master of Corinth, B. C. 244. (Droysen, Hellenism. vol. ii. p. 372.) We find him mentioned by Pausanias as one of the commanders of the forces of Megalopolis at the battle of Mantmneia against Agis IV., king of Sparta (Paus. 8.10. §§ 6, 10); but the date of that battle is unknown. From his being associated on that occasion with another general, Leocydes, we may perhaps infer that he had not then established himself in the absolute power. If the date above assigned to the commencement of his reign be correct, he had he