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When Dionysius observed that some of the Greeks were deserting to the Carthaginian domain, taking with them their cities and their estates, he concluded that so long as he was at peace with the Carthaginians many of his subjects would be wanting to join their defection, whereas, if there were war, all who had been enslaved by the Carthaginians would revolt to him. And he also heard that many Carthaginians in Libya had fallen victims to a plague which had raged among them. [2] Thinking for these reasons, then, that he had a favourable occasion for war, he decided that preparation should first be effected; for he assumed that the war would be a great and protracted one since he was entering a struggle with the most powerful people of Europe. [3] At once, therefore, he gathered skilled workmen, commandeering them from the cities under his control and attracting them by high wages from Italy and Greece as well as Carthaginian territory. For his purpose was to make weapons in great numbers and every kind of missile, and also quadriremes and quinqueremes, no ship of the latter size having yet been built at that time.1 [4] After collecting many skilled workmen, he divided them into groups in accordance with their skills, and appointed over them the most conspicuous citizens, offering great bounties to any who created a supply of arms. As for the armour, he distributed among them models of each kind, because he had gathered his mercenaries from many nations; [5] for he was eager to have every one of his soldiers armed with the weapons of his people, conceiving that by such armour his army would, for this very reason, cause great consternation, and that in battle all of his soldiers would fight to best effect in armour to which they were accustomed. [6] And since the Syracusans enthusiastically supported the policy of Dionysius, it came to pass that rivalry rose high to manufacture the arms. For not only was every space, such as the porticoes and back rooms of the temples as well as the gymnasia and colonnades of the market place, crowded with workers, but the making of great quantities of arms went on, apart from such public places, in the most distinguished homes.

1 W. W. Tarn, Hellenistic Military and Naval Developments, pp. 130-131, questions the invention of quinqueremes at this time, since they are not heard of again until the time of Alexander the Great.

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