I will now describe the original settlement of Sicily, and enumerate the nations which it1
contained. Oldest of all were (1) the Cyclopes and Laestrygones, who are said to have dwelt in a district of the island; but who they were, whence they came, or whither they went, I cannot tell. We must be content with the legends of the poets, and every one must be left to form his own opinion. (2)
The Sicanians appear to have succeeded these early races, although according to their own account they were still older; for they profess to have been children of the soil. But the fact proves to be that they were Iberians, and were driven from the river Sicanus in Iberia by the Ligurians. Sicily, which was originally called Trinacria, received from them the name Sicania.
To this day the Sicanians inhabit the western parts of the island. (3) After the capture of Troy, some Trojans who had escaped from the Achaeans came in ships to Sicily; they settled near the Sicanians, and took the common name of Elymi but had two separate cities, Eryx and Egesta. (4) These were joined by certain Phocians, who had also fought at Troy, and were driven by a storm first to Libya and thence to Sicily. (5)
The Sicels were originally inhabitants of Italy, whence they were driven by the Opici, and passed over into Sicily;—according to a probable tradition they crossed upon rafts, taking advantage of the wind blowing from the land, but they may have found other ways of effecting a passage; there are Sicels still in Italy, and the country itself was so called from Italus a Sicel king.
They entered Sicily with a large army, and defeating the Sicanians in battle, drove them back to the southern and western parts of the country; from them the island, formerly Sicania, took the name of Sicily. For nearly three hundred years after their arrival until the time when the Hellenes came to Sicily they occupied the most fertile districts, and they still inhabit the central and northern regions. (6) The Phoenicians at one time had settlements all round the island.
They fortified headlands on the sea-coast, and settled in the small islands adjacent, for the sake of trading with the Sicels; but when the Hellenes began to find their way by sea to Sicily in greater numbers they withdrew from the larger part of the island, and forming a union established themselves in Motyè, Soloeis, and Panormus, in the neighbourhood of the Elymi, partly trusting to their alliance with them, and partly because this is the point at which the passage from Carthage to Sicily is shortest. Such were the Barbarian nations who inhabited Sicily, and these were their settlements.