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When 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. [2] 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. [3] 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. [4] 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. [5] 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,4 and the son of Gescon, who had been exiled because of his father's defeat and had ended his life in Selinus. [6]

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. [7] 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.

1 410 B.C.

2 Cp. Book 12.82.

3 As one of the two annually elected suffetes, somewhat similar to the Roman consuls. Evidently Diodorus preferred not to use the unfamiliar title.

4 Cp. Book 11.21-22.

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