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πολλὸς ἐνέκειτο, ‘attacked them vehemently’; so Thuc. iv. 22 (of Cleon); Dem. de Cor. 199; Theocr. xxii. 90. For πολλός cf. i. 98. 1.

νεῖκος. (1) Many writers (e.g. Abbott, ii. 446) follow Holm (G. S. i. 416) in identifying this strife with the great campaign which culminated at the Himera, placing that battle in 481 B. C.; but this is absolutely opposed to the clear meaning of H. (Freeman, ii. 478). Again, the synchronism between the Persian and Carthaginian invasions seems well established (cf. 166 n.); H. makes the Himera coincide with Salamis (ch. 166), and is followed, though more cautiously, by Aristotle (Poet. 23); Diodorus (xi. 24) places it on the last day of the fighting at Thermopylae. Further, there is a high probability that there was some concerted arrangement between the Persian and the Carthaginian (Ephorus fr. 111; F. H. G. i. 264; Diod. xi. 1; ch. 166 n.). (2) Others (e. g. Meltzer, Karthager, i. 495; cf. Busolt, ii. 790 n.) see in this earlier war a mis-dating of the great invasion by some writer anxious to deprive Gelo of all excuse for refusing his aid to the mother-country, but if so, H. is strangely careless. (3) Freeman (ii. 479), feeling it difficult to find room for the war after Gelo became tyrant (i.e. after 491 B. C.), holds that he refers to some fighting in which he took part as a subordinate of Cleandrus or Hippocrates, but this is surely an impossible interpretation of Gelo's words. Most probably, Gelo and Thero attempted to conquer the Carthaginian strongholds in Western Sicily, Motye, Soloeis, and Panormus, with their Elymian ally Segesta, circ. 483 B. C., and so provoked the great Carthaginian expedition of 480 B. C. (ch. 165 f.). It is true that Diodorus (xi. 1) assigns three years to the Carthaginian preparations, but these are probably only an inference from Xerxes' three years of preparation (vii. 1).

Δωριέος. The story of Dorieus (v. 42-6) contains no reference to this effort of Gelo, and seems to be drawn from an independent source.

τὰ ἐμπόρια: probably the ports of Western Sicily held by the Carthaginians (cf. sup.), but Gelo may well have had wider schemes of opening the trade of the further West, and especially Spain (i. 163; iv. 152), to Hellenic commerce and colonization, breaking the Phoenician and Punic monopoly. He may have thought of a great pan-Hellenic alliance to meet the Semite in the West, and then the Persian in Eastern Greece.

διηκοσίας κτλ. The numbers are suspiciously uniform, though not perhaps incredibly large. Similar numbers appear in Polyb. xii. 26 b, schol. Pind. Pyth. i. 146; from Ephorus (fr. 111), or Timaeus (fr. 87; v. sup.). At the battle of Himera Diodorus (xi. 21) makes Gelo command 50,000 foot and over 5,000 horse.

ἱπποδρόμους ψιλούς: probably light infantry who fought interspersed among the cavalry like the Boeotian ἅμιπποι (Thuc. v. 57; Xen. Hell. vii. 5. 24). Caesar adopted at Pharsalia (B. C. iii. 84) this device, which he found in Gaul (B. G. vii. 18, 36, 80), and which seems to have been a regular practice among the Germans (B. G. i. 48, vii. 65, viii. 13; Tac. Germ. ch. 6). The large proportion of light-armed troops and cavalry shows the higher level of military science in the West. The Sicilian tyrants, making large use of mercenaries, can put in the field a well-equipped force of all arms, not the mere hoplite-phalanx and ill-armed light troops mustered to meet Xerxes.

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Pindar, Pythian, 1
    • Thucydides, Histories, 4.22
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.57
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 7.5.24
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