previous next

While these events were taking place there arrived at Acragas three thousand picked soldiers from the Syracusans, who had been dispatched in advance with all speed to bring aid. On learning of the fall of Selinus, they sent ambassadors to Hannibal urging him both to release the captives on payment of ransom and to spare the temples of the gods. [2] Hannibal replied that the Selinuntians, having proved incapable of defending their freedom, would now undergo the experience of slavery, and that the gods had departed from Selinus, having become offended with its inhabitants. [3] However, since the fugitives had sent Empedion as an ambassador, to him Hannibal restored his possessions; for Empedion had always favoured the cause of the Carthaginians and before the siege had counselled the citizens not to go to war against the Carthaginians. Hannibal also graciously delivered up to him his kinsmen who were among the captives and to the Selinuntians who had escaped he gave permission to dwell in the city and to cultivate its fields upon payment of tribute to the Carthaginians. [4]

Now this city was taken after it had been inhabited from its founding for a period of two hundred and forty-two years. And Hannibal, after destroying the walls of Selinus, departed with his whole army to Himera, being especially bent upon razing this city to the ground. [5] For it was this city which had caused his father to be exiled and before its walls his grandfather Hamilcar had been out-generalled by Gelon and then met his end,1 and with him one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers had perished and no fewer than these had been taken captive. [6] These were the reasons why Hannibal was eager to exact punishment, and with forty thousand men he pitched camp upon some hills not far from the city, while with the rest of his entire army he invested the city, twenty thousand additional soldiers from both Siceli and Sicani having joined him. [7] Setting up his siege-engines he shook the walls at a number of points, and since he pressed the battle with waves of troops in great strength, he wore down the defenders, especially since his soldiers were elated by their successes. [8] He also set about undermining the walls, which he then shored up with wooden supports, and when these were set on fire, a large section of the wall soon fell. Thereupon there ensued a most bitter battle, one side struggling to force its way inside the wall and the other fearing lest they should suffer the same fate as the Selinuntians. [9] Consequently, since the defenders put up a struggle to the death on behalf of children and parents and the fatherland which all men fight to defend, the barbarians were thrust out and the section of the wall quickly restored. To their aid came also the Syracusans from Acragas and troops from their other allies, some four thousand in all, who were under the command of Diocles the Syracusan.

1 Cp. Book 11.21 f.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Selinus (Italy) (3)
Agrigentum (Italy) (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (4):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), HI´MERA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SELI´NUS
    • Smith's Bio, Di'ocles
    • Smith's Bio, Gelon
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: