previous next

End of the First Punic War

As far as strength of feeling and desire for victory were
Barcas makes terms.
concerned, this unexpected reverse did not diminish the readiness of the Carthaginians to carry on the war; but when they came to reckon up their resources they were at a complete standstill. On the one hand, they could not any longer send supplies to their forces in Sicily, because the enemy commanded the sea: on the other, to abandon and, as it were, to betray these, left them without men and without leaders to carry on the war. They therefore sent a despatch to Barcas with all speed, leaving the decision of the whole matter in his hands. Nor was their confidence misplaced. He acted the part of a gallant general and a sensible man. As long as there was any reasonable hope of success in the business he had in hand, nothing was too adventurous or too dangerous for him to attempt; and if any general ever did so, he put every chance of victory to the fullest proof. But when all his endeavours miscarried, and no reasonable expectation was left of saving his troops, he yielded to the inevitable, and sent ambassadors to treat of peace and terms of accommodation. And in this he showed great good sense and practical ability; for it is quite as much the duty of a leader to be able to see when it is time to give in, as when it is the time to win a victory. Lutatius was ready enough to listen to the proposal, because he was fully aware that the resources of Rome were at the lowest ebb from the strain of the war; and eventually it was his fortune to put an end to the contest by a treaty of which I here give the terms.
The treaty, B, C, 242
"Friendship is established between the Carthaginians and Romans on the following terms, provided always that they are ratified by the Roman people. The Carthaginians shall evacuate the whole of Sicily: they shall not make war upon Hiero, nor bear arms against the Syracusans or their allies. The Carthaginians shall give up to the Romans all prisoners without ransom. The Carthaginians shall pay to the Romans in twenty years 2200 Euboic talents of silver."1

1 About £500,000. For the value of the talent, taking the Euboic and Attic talent as the same, see note on Book 34, 8.

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 (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

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

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sicily (Italy) (2)
Rome (Italy) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (1 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: