The first external war waged by the Romans against the Carthaginians in reference to Sicily was waged in Sicily itself. In like manner the first one concerning Spain was waged in Spain, although in the course of it the combatants sent large forces into, and devastated, both Italy and Africa.
This war began about the 140th Olympiad by the infraction
of a treaty which had been made at the end of the Sicilian war. The infraction came about in this way. Hamilcar, surnamed Barca, while commanding the Carthaginian forces in Sicily, had promised large rewards to his Celtic mercenaries and African allies, which they demanded after he returned to Africa; and thereupon the African war was kindled. In this war the Carthaginians suffered severely at the hands of the Africans, and they ceded Sardinia to the Romans as compensation for injuries they had inflicted upon Roman merchants during this war. When Hamilcar was brought to trial for these things by his enemies, who held him to blame for such serious calamities to the country, he secured the favor of the chief men in the state (of whom the most popular was Hasdrubal, who had married Barca's daughter), by which means he escaped punishment; and as a disturbance with the Numidians broke out about this time, he secured the command of the Carthaginian forces in conjunction with Hanno the Great, although he had not yet rendered an account of his former generalship.