9. Commander of the Carthaginian forces in Sicily during a part of the second Punic war.
He is first mentioned as commanding the fleet which was sent over from Carthage in B. C. 214, about the time that Marcellus first arrived in Sicily; but he appears to have remained inactive at Cape Pachynus, watching the operations of the enemy, but without effecting any thing decisive (Liv. 24.27
). From thence he returned to Carthage; and having received from the government there, who were now determined to prosecute the war in Sicily with energy, an army of 25,000 foot and 3000 horse, he landed with this force at Heraclea Minoa, and quickly made himself master of Agrigentum. Here he was joined by Hippocrates from Syracuse; and following Marcellus, who retreated before him, he advanced to the banks of the Anapus.
But the Roman camp was too strong to be forced, and Himilco, feeling confident that the Syracusans could be left to their own resources, turned his attention to the other cities of Sicily.
The spirit of hostility to Rome was rapidly spreading among these, and several openly declared in favour of the Carthaginians. Murgantia, where great part of the Roman magazines had been collected, was betrayed into the hands of Himilco; and the still more important fortress of Enna was only prevented from following its example by the barbarous massacre of its inhabitants by the orders of the Roman governor, Pinarius. [PINARIUS.
] But in the following spring (212) the surprise of the Epipolae by Marcellus, which put him in possession of three out of the five quarters of Syracuse, more than counterbalanced all these advantages of the Carthaginians. Himilco saw the necessity of an immediate effort to relieve Syracuse, and again advanced thither in conjunction with Hippocrates.
But their attacks on the Roman lines were repulsed; and a pestilence, caused by the marshy ground on which they were encamped, broke out in their army, which carried off Himilco, as well as his colleague, Hippocrates. (Liv. 24.35
; Zonar. 9.4