When Glaucides was archon in Athens
, the Romans elected as consuls Titus Quinctius and Agrippa Furius. During
this year the Syracusans, because of the successes we have described, built one hundred
triremes and doubled the number of their cavalry; they also developed their infantry forces and
made financial preparations by laying heavier tributes upon the Siceli who were now subject to
them. This they were doing with the intention of subduing all Sicily
little by little.
While these events were taking place it came about in Greece
that the Corinthian War,2
as it is called, began for the following
causes. Civil strife broke out among the Epidamnians who dwell upon the Adriatic Sea
and are colonists of the Cercyraeans and
The successful group sent into exile large numbers of their opponents, but the exiles gathered
into one body, associated the Illyrians with themselves, and sailed together with them against
had taken the field with
a large army, had seized the countryside, and were investing the city, the Epidamnians, who of
themselves were not equal to them in battle, dispatched ambassadors to Cercyra, asking the
Cercyraeans on the grounds of kinship to come to their aid. When the Cercyraeans paid no
attention to the request, they sent ambassadors to seek an alliance with the Corinthians and
to be their single mother-city;
at the same time they asked for colonists.
Corinthians, partly out of pity for the Epidamnians and partly out of hatred for the
Cercyraeans, since they alone of the colonists who had gone from Corinth
would not send the customary sacrificial animals to
the mother-city, decided to go to the aid of the Epidamnians. Consequently they sent to
both colonists and soldiers in sufficient
numbers to garrison the city.
At this the Cercyraeans became
irritated and sent out a squadron of fifty triremes under the command of a general. He, sailing
up to the city, issued orders to receive back the exiles, while they dispatched ambassadors to
the guards from Corinth
demanding that the
question of the origin of the colony be decided by a court of arbiters, not by war. When the
Corinthians made no answer to this proposal, both sides decided upon war, and they set about
fitting out great naval armaments and gathering allies. And so the Corinthian War, as it has
been called, broke out for the reasons we have narrated.
The Romans were at war with the Volscians5
and at first they engaged
only in skirmishes and unimportant engagements, but later they conquered them in a great
pitched battle and slew the larger number of the enemy.