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When all the Greeks, at the time Xerxes was about to cross over into Europe,480 B.C. dispatched an embassy to Gelon to discuss an alliance, and when he answered that he would ally himself with them and supply them with grain, provided that they would grant him the supreme command either on the land or on the sea, the tyrant's ambition for glory in his demanding the supreme command thwarted the alliance; and yet the magnitude of the aid he could supply and the fear of the enemy were impelling them to share the glory with Gelon.See Hdt. 7.157 ff. But Gelon himself was in danger from an attack of the Carthaginians upon the Greeks of Sicily.
[And last of all, many generations later, the people of the Siceli crossed over in a body from Italy into Sicily and made their home in the land which had been abandoned by the Sicani. And since the Siceli steadily grew more avaricious and kept ravaging the land which bordered on theirs, frequent wars arose between them and the Sicani, until at last they struck covenants and set up boundaries of their territory, upon which they had agreed. With regard to these matters we shall give a detailed account in connection with the appropriate period of time.]Diod. 5.6.3-4.
Diodorus of Sicily and Oppian state that this city of Neapolis was founded by Heracles.Tzetzes, on the Alexandra of Lycophron, v. 717.
Now that we have described at sufficient length the events in Europe, we shall shift our narrative to the affairs of another people. The Carthaginians, we recall,Cp. chap. 1. had agreed with the Persians to subdue the Greeks of Sicily at the same time and had made preparations on a large scale of such materials as would be useful in carrying on a war. And when they had made everything ready, they chose for general Hamilcar, having selected him as the man who was held by them
ntion many cargo ships for carrying supplies, numbering more than three thousand. Now
as he was crossing the Libyan sea he encountered a storm and lost the vessels which were
carrying the horses and chariots. And when he came to port in Sicily in the harbour of PanormusPalermo. he remarked that he had finished the war; for he had been afraid
that the sea would rescue the Siceliotes from the perils of the conflict. He took three days to rest his soldiers and to repair the damage wh
Because of this achievement many historians compare this battle with the one which the Greeks fought at Plataea and the stratagem of Gelon with the ingenious schemes of Themistocles, and the first place they assign, since such exceptional merit was shown by both men, some to the one and some to the other. And the reason is that, when the people of Greece on the one hand and those of Sicily on the other were struck with dismay before the conflict at the multitude of the barbarian armies, it was the prior victory of the Sicilian Greeks which gave courage to the people of Greece when they learned of Gelon's victory; and as for the men in both affairs who held the supreme command, we know that in the case of the Persians the king escaped with his life and many myriads together with him, whereas in the case of the Carthaginians not only did the general perish but also everyone who participated in the war was slain, and, as the saying is, no