At sunrise the cavalrymen rode up to the naval camp of the
Carthaginians, and when the guards admitted them, thinking them to be allies, they at once
galloped to where Hamilcar was busied with the sacrifice, slew him, and then set fire to the
ships; thereupon the scouts raised the signal and Gelon advanced with his entire army in battle
order against the Carthaginian camp.
The commanders of the
Phoenicians in the camp at the outset led out their troops to meet the Siceliotes and as the
lines closed they put up a vigorous fight; at the same time in both camps they sounded with the
trumpets the signal for battle and a shout arose from the two armies one after the other, each
eagerly striving to outdo their adversaries in the volume of their cheering.
The slaughter was great, and the battle was swaying back and forth, when
suddenly the flames from the ships began to rise on high and sundry persons reported that the
general had been slain; then the Greeks were emboldened and with spirits elated at the rumours
and by the hope of victory they pressed with greater boldness upon the barbarians, while the
Carthaginians, dismayed and despairing of victory, turned in flight.
Since Gelon had given orders to take no prisoners, there
followed a great slaughter of the enemy in their flight, and in the end no less than one
hundred and fifty thousand of them were slain. All who escaped the battle and fled to a strong
position at first warded off the attackers, but the position they had seized had no water, and
thirst compelled them to surrender to the victors.
had won a victory in a most remarkable battle and had gained his success primarily by reason of
his own skill as a general, acquired a fame that was noised abroad, not only among the
Siceliotes, but among all other men as well;
recalls no man before him who had used a stratagem like this, nor one who had slain more
barbarians in one engagement or had taken so great a multitude of prisoners.