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Himilco

1. A Carthaginian, mentioned by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 2.67) as having conducted a voyage of discovery from Gades towards the north, along the western shores of Europe, at the same time that Hanno undertook his well-known voyage along the west coast of Africa. [Hanno the Navigator.] He is not elsewhere referred to by Pliny, but is quoted repeatedly as an authority by Festus Avienus in his geographical poem called Ora Maritima (vv. 117, 383, 412, ed. Wernsdorf, in the Poetae Latini Minores, vol. v. pars 3). It appears from the passages there cited that Himilco had represented his farther progress as prevented by the stagnant nature of the sea, loaded with sea weed, and the absence of wind, statements which do not speak highly for his character as a discoverer. His voyage is said to have lasted four months, but it is impossible to judge how far it was extended. Perhaps it was intentionally wrapt in obscurity by the commercial jealousy of the Carthaginians, and the fabulous statements just alluded to may have been designed to prevent navigators of other nations from following in the same track. We have no clue to the period at which this expedition was undertaken: Pliny says only that it was during the flourishing times of Carthage (Carthaginis potentia florente). Heeren (Ideen. vol. iv. p. 539) and Bötticher (Gesch. d. Carthager, p. 17) are disposed to regard this Himilco as the same with No. 2, the grandson of Mago; but there are no sufficient grounds for this supposition.

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