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The Treaty with Carthage

Hieronymus on his part selected Agatharchus, Onesimus, and Hipposthenes to send with Hannibal to Carthage, with instructions to make an alliance on the following terms: "The Carthaginians to assist him with land and sea forces, in expelling the Romans from Sicily, and then divide the island with him; so as to have the river Himera, which divides Sicily almost exactly in half, as the boundary between the two provinces." The commissioners arrived in Carthage: and finding, on coming to a conference, that the Carthaginians were prepared to meet them in every point, they completed the arrangement. Meanwhile Hippocrates got the young Hieronymus entirely into his hands: and at first fired his imagination by telling him of Hannibal's marches and pitched battles in Italy; and afterwards by repeating to him that no one had a better right to the government of all Siceliots than he; in the first place as the son of Nereis daughter of Pyrrhus, the only man whom all Siceliots alike had accepted deliberately and with full assent as their leader and king; and in the second place in virtue of his grandfather Hiero's sovereign rights. At last he and his brother so won upon the young man by their conversation, that he would attend to no one else at all: partly from the natural feebleness of his character, but still more from the ambitious feelings which they had excited in him.
The king's pretensions rise, and a new arrangement is made with Carthage.
And therefore, just when Agatharchus and his colleagues were completing the business on which they had been sent in Carthage, he sent fresh ambassadors, saying that all Sicily belonged to him; and demanding that the Carthaginians should help him to recover Sicily: while he promised that he would assist the Carthaginians in their Italian campaign. Though the Carthaginians now saw perfectly well the whole extent of the young man's fickleness and infatuation: yet thinking it to be in manifold ways to their interests not to let Sicilian affairs out of their hands, they assented to his demands; and having already prepared ships and men, they set about arranging for the transport of their forces into Sicily.

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