fact, if a man cares to put a finer point on it, he will find that Dionysius is as wary of
peace as he is of war. For he believes that, as matters stand, the Syracusans, because of their
fear of the enemy, will not attempt anything against him, but that once the Carthaginians have
been defeated they will claim their freedom, since they will have weapons in their hands and
will be proudly conscious of their deeds.
Indeed this is the
reason, in my opinion, why in the first war he betrayed Gela and Camarina1
and made these cities desolate, and why in his
negotiations he agreed that most of the Greek cities should be given over to the enemy.
After this he broke faith in time of peace with Naxos and
Catane and sold the inhabitants into slavery, razing one to the ground and giving the other to
the Campanians from Italy to dwell in.
And when, after the
destruction of these peoples, the rest of Sicily made many attempts to overthrow his tyranny,
he again declared war upon the Carthaginians; for his scruple against breaking his agreement in
violation of the oaths he had taken was not so great as his fear of the surviving
concentrations of the Sicilian Greeks.
"Moreover, it is obvious
that he has been at all times on the alert to effect their destruction.
First of all at Panormus, when the enemy were disembarking and were in
bad physical condition after the stormy passage, he could have offered battle, but did not
choose to do so. After that he stood idly by and sent no help to Messene, a city strategically
situated and of great size, but allowed it to be razed, not only in order that the greatest
possible number of Sicilian Greeks should perish, but also that the Carthaginians might
intercept the reinforcements from Italy and the fleets from the Peloponnesus.
Last of all, he joined battle offshore at Catane, careless of the
advantage of pitching battle near the city, where the vanquished could find safety in their own
harbours. After the battle, when strong winds sprang up and the Carthaginians were forced to
haul their fleet up on land, he had a most favourable opportunity for victory;
for the land forces of the enemy had not yet arrived and the violent
storm was driving the enemy's ships on the shore. At that time, if we had all attacked on land,
the only outcomes left the enemy would have been, either to be captured with ease, if they left
their ships, or to strew the coast with wreckage, if they matched their strength against the