previous next

At the close of the year, in Athens Lysiades2 became archon, and in Rome six military tribunes administered the office of consul, Popilius Mallius, Publius Maelius, Spurius Furius, and Lucius Publius.3 When Dionysius, the tyrant of the Syracusans, had completed all his preparations for the war according to his personal design, he sent a herald to Carthage, having given him a letter to the senate, [2] which contained the statement that the Syracusans had resolved to make war upon the Carthaginians unless they withdrew from the Greek cities. The herald accordingly, pursuant to his orders, sailed to Libya and delivered the letter to the senate. When it had been read in the council and subsequently before the people, it came about that the Carthaginians were not a little distressed at the thought of war; for the plague had killed great numbers of them, and they were also totally unprepared. [3] Nevertheless, they waited for the Syracusans to take the initiative and dispatched members of the senate with large sums of money to recruit mercenaries in Europe.4 [4]

Dionysius with the Syracusans, the mercenaries, and his allies marched forth from Syracuse and made his way towards Eryx.5 For not far from this hill lay the city of Motye, a Carthaginian colony, which they used as their chief base of operations against Sicily; and Dionysius hoped that with this city in his power he would have no small advantage over his enemies. [5] In the course of his march he received from time to time the contingents from the Greek cities, supplying the full levy of each with arms; for they were all eager to join his campaign, hating as they did the heavy hand of Phoenician domination and relishing the prospect at last of freedom. [6] He received first the levy from Camarina, then those of Gela and Acragas; and after these he sent for the Himeraeans, whose home was on the other side of Sicily, and after adding the men of Selinus, as he passed by, he arrived at Motye with all his army. [7] He had eighty thousand infantry, well over three thousand cavalry, and a little less than two hundred warships, and he was accompanied by not less than five hundred merchantmen loaded with great numbers of engines of war and all the other supplies needed.

1 397 B.C.

2 The name should be Suniades (Kirchner, Prosopographia Attica, 12817).

3 There are only four names and they differ considerably from those in Livy 5.12.

4 Presumably in Spain, where Hannibal had formerly gathered mercenaries (Book 13.44).

5 Cp. Book 4.83.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1989)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
397 BC (1)
hide References (8 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: