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The Sicilian Greeks made their way toward Syracuse, but as they reflected that they would certainly be invested and forced to endure a laborious siege, they urged Dionysius to seek an immediate encounter with Himilcon because of his past victory; for, they said, perhaps their unexpected appearance would strike terror into the barbarians and they could repair their late reverse. [2] Dionysius was at first won over by these advisers and ready to lead his army against Himilcon, but when some of his friends told him that he ran the risk of losing the city if Magon should set out with his entire fleet against Syracuse, he quickly changed his mind; and in fact he knew that Messene had fallen to the hands of the barbarians in a similar manner.1 And so, believing that it was not safe to strip the city of defenders, he set out for Syracuse. [3] The majority of the Sicilian Greeks, being angered at his unwillingness to encounter the enemy, deserted Dionysius, some of them departing to their own countries and others to fortresses in the neighbourhood. [4]

Himilcon, who had reached in two days the coast of the Catanaeans, hauled all the ships up on land, since a strong wind had arisen, and, while resting his forces for some days, sent ambassadors to the Campanians who held Aetne, urging them to revolt from Dionysius. [5] He promised both to give them a large amount of territory and to let them share in the spoils of the war; he also informed them that the Campanians dwelling in Entella found no fault with the Carthaginians and took their side against the Sicilian Greeks, and he pointed out that as a general thing the Greeks as a race are the enemies of all other peoples. [6] But since the Campanians had given hostages to Dionysius and had sent their choicest troops to Syracuse, they were compelled to maintain the alliance with Dionysius, although they would gladly have joined the Carthaginians.

1 Cp. chap. 57.

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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AETNA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ENTELLA
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