the armament was on the great scale we have described, the people of Eryx were awed by the
magnitude of the force and, hating the Carthaginians as they did, came over to Dionysius. The
inhabitants of Motye, however, expecting aid from the Carthaginians, were not dismayed at
Dionysius' armament, but made ready to withstand a siege; for they were not unaware that the
Syracusans would make Motye the first city to sack, because it was most loyal to the
This city was situated on an island lying six
stades off Sicily, and was embellished artistically to the last degree with numerous fine
houses, thanks to the prosperity of the inhabitants. It also had a narrow artificial causeway
extending to the shore of Sicily, which the Motyans breached at this time, in order that the
enemy should have no approach against them.
Dionysius, after reconnoitring the area, together with his engineers,
began to construct moles leading to Motye, hauled the warships up on land at the entrance of
the harbour, and moored the merchantmen along the beach.
this he left Leptines1
admiral in command of the works, while he himself set out with the infantry of his army against
the cities that were allies of the Carthaginians. Now the Sicani,2
fearing the great size of
the army, all went over to the Syracusans, and of the rest of the cities only five remained
loyal to the Carthaginians, these being Halicyae, Solus, Aegesta, Panormus, and Entella.
Hence Dionysius plundered the territory of Solus and
Panormus, and that also of Halicyae, and cut down the trees on it, but he laid siege to Aegesta
and Entella with strong forces and launched continuous attacks upon them, seeking to get
control of them by force. Such was the state of the affairs of Dionysius.