the events of this year had come to an end, in Athens Glaucippus was archon and in Rome
the consuls elected were Marcus Cornelius and Lucius
Furius. At this time in Sicily
the Aegestaeans, who
had allied themselves with the Athenians against the Syracusans, had fallen into great fear at
the conclusion of the war; for they expected, and with good reason, to pay the penalty to the
Sicilian Greeks for the wrongs they had inflicted upon them.
And when the Selinuntians went to war with them over the land in dispute,2
they withdrew from it of their free will, being
concerned lest the Syracusans should use this excuse to join the Selinuntians in the war and
they should thereby run the risk of utterly destroying their country.
But when the Selinuntians proposed, quite apart from the territory in dispute, to carve
off for themselves a large portion of the neighbouring territory, the inhabitants of Aegesta
thereupon dispatched ambassadors to Carthage
asking for aid and putting their city in the hands of the Carthaginians.
When the envoys arrived and laid before the Senate the instructions the
people had given them, the Carthaginians found themselves in no little quandary; for while they
were eager to acquire a city so strategically situated, at the same time they stood in fear of
the Syracusans, having just witnessed their defeat of the armaments of the Athenians.
But when Hannibal, their foremost citizen, also advised them
to acquire the city, they replied to the ambassadors that they would come to their aid, and to
supervise the undertaking, in case it should lead to war, they selected as general Hannibal,
who at the time lawfully exercised sovereign powers.3
He was the grandson of Hamilcar,
who fought in the war against Gelon and died at Himera
son of Gescon, who had been exiled because of his father's defeat and had ended his life in
Now Hannibal, who by nature was a hater of the Greeks and at
the same time desired to wipe out the disgraces which had befallen his ancestors, was eager by
his own efforts to achieve some advantage for his country. Hence, seeing that the Selinuntians
were not satisfied with the cession of the territory in dispute, he dispatched ambassadors
together with the Aegestaeans to the Syracusans, referring to them the decision of the dispute;
and though ostensibly he pretended to be seeking that justice be done, in fact he believed
that, after the Selinuntians refused to agree to arbitration, the Syracusans would not join
them as allies.
Since the Selinuntians also dispatched
ambassadors, refusing the arbitration and answering at length the ambassadors of the
Carthaginians and Aegestaeans, in the end the Syracusans decided to vote to maintain their
alliance with the Selinuntians and their state of peace with the Carthaginians.