During these transactions in Spain, Marcellus, after the capture of Syracuse, having settled the other affairs in Sicily with so much honour and integrity as not only to add to his own renown, but also to the majesty of the Roman people, conveyed to Rome the ornaments of the city, together with the statues and pictures with which Syracuse abounded.
These were certainly spoils taken from enemies, and acquired according to the laws of war; but hence was the origin of the admiration of the products of Grecian art, and to that freedom with which at present all places, both sacred and profane, are despoiled; which at last recoiled upon the Roman gods, and first upon that very temple which was so choicely adorned by Marcellus.
For foreigners were in the habit of visiting the temples dedicated by Marcellus near the Capuan gate, on account of their splendid ornaments of this description, of which a very small portion can be found. Embassies from almost all the states of Sicily came to him.
As their cases were different, so were also the terms granted to them. Those who had either not revolted or had returned to the alliance before the capture of Syracuse, were received and honoured as faithful allies. Those who had been induced to submit through fear after the capture of Syracuse, as vanquished, received laws from the conqueror.
The Romans, however, had still [p. 1015]
remaining a war of no small magnitude at Agrigentum, headed by Epicydes and Hanno, generals in the late war, and a third new one sent by Hannibal in the room of Hippocrates, a Libyphœnician by nation, and a native of Hippo, called by his countrymen Mutines; an energetic man, and thoroughly instructed in all the arts of war under the tuition of Hannibal. To this man the Numidian auxiliaries were assigned by Epicydes and Hanno.
With these he so thoroughly overran the lands of his enemies, and visited his allies with such activity, in order to retain them in their allegiance, and for the purpose of bringing them seasonable aid as each required it, that in a short time he filled all Sicily with his fame, nor
was greater confidence placed in any one else by those who favoured the Carthaginian interest.
Accordingly the Carthaginian and Syracusan generals, who had been hitherto compelled to keep within the walls of Agrigentum, not more at the advice of Mutines than from the confidence they reposed in him, had the courage to go out from the walls, and pitched a camp near the river Himera.
When this was announced to Marcellus, he immediately advanced and sat down at a distance of about four miles from the enemy, with the intention of waiting to see what steps they took, and what they meditated.
But Mutines allowed no room or time for delay or deliberation, but crossed the river, and, charging the outposts of his enemy, created the greatest terror and confusion. The next day, in an engagement which might almost be called regular, he compelled his enemy to retire within their works.
Being called away by a mutiny of the Numidians, which had broken out in the camp, and in which about three hundred of them had retired to Heraclea Minoa, he set out to appease them and bring them back; and is said to have earnestly warned the generals not to engage with the enemy during his absence. Both the generals were indignant at this conduct, but particularly Hanno, who was before disturbed at his reputation.
“Is it to be borne,” said he, “that a mongrel African should impose restraints upon me, a Carthaginian general, commissioned by the senate and people?”
Epicydes, who wished to wait, was prevailed upon by him to agree to their crossing the river and offering battle; for, said he, if they should wait for Mutines, and the battle should terminate successfully, Mutines would certainly have the credit of it. [p. 1016]