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Hamilcar Barcas' Seven Years in Hercte Next year, the eighteenth of the war, the Carthaginians B. C. 247. appointed Hamilcar Barcas general, and put the management of the fleet in his hands. Occupation of Hercte by Hamilcar. He took over the command, and started to ravage the Italian coast. After devastating the districts of Locri, and the rest of Bruttium, he sailed away with his whole fleet to the coast of Panormus and seized on a place called Hercte, which lies between Eryx and Panormus on the coast, and is reputed the best situation in the district for a safe and permanent camp. For it is a mountain rising sheer on every side, standing out above the surrounding country to a considerable height. The table-land on its summit has a circumference of not less than a hundred stades, within which the soil is rich in pasture and suitable for agriculture; the sea-breezes render it healthy; and it is entirely free from all dangerous animals. On the side which looks towards the sea, as well
Hamilcar Besieges the Romans at Eryx Presently however Fortune, acting like a good umpire in Siege of Eryx, B. C. 244. the games, transferred them by a bold stroke from the locality just described, and the contest in which they were engaged, to a stEryx, B. C. 244. the games, transferred them by a bold stroke from the locality just described, and the contest in which they were engaged, to a struggle of greater danger and a locality of narrower dimensions. The Romans, as we have said, were in occupation of the summit of Eryx, and had a guard stationed at its foot. But Hamilcar managed to seize the town which lay between these two spots. ThEryx, and had a guard stationed at its foot. But Hamilcar managed to seize the town which lay between these two spots. There ensued a siege of the Romans who were on the summit, supported by them with extraordinary hardihood and adventurous daring: while the Carthaginians, finding themselves between two hostile armies, and their supplies brought to them with difficulty
her two years, the war happened to be decided in quite a different manner. B. C. 243-242.
Such was the state of affairs at Eryx and with the forcesThe obstinate persistence of the Romans and Carthaginians.
employed there. The two nations engaged
Mischief Brewing Among the Mercenaries The course of events at Carthage subsequent to the Evacuation of Sicily. peace was as follows: As soon as possible after it was finally ratified Barcas withdrew the troops at Eryx to Lilybaeum, and then immediately laid down his command. Gesco, who was commandant of the town, proceeded to transport the soldiers into Libya. But foreseeing what was likely to happen, he very prudently embarked them in detachments, and did not send them all in one voyage. His object was to gain time for the Carthaginian government; so that one detachment should come to shore, receive the pay due to them, and depart from Carthage to their own country, before the next detachment was brought across and joined them. In accordance with this idea Gesco began the transportation of the troops. But the Government—partly because the recent expenses had reduced their finances to a low ebb, partly because they felt certain that, if they collected the whole force and entertained