2.It was inhabited in old time thus, and these were the nations that held it: The most ancient inhabitants in a part thereof are said to have been the Cyclopes and Laestrigones, of whose stock and whence they came or to what place they removed I have nothing to say.Let that suffice which the poets have spoken and which every particular man hath learned of them.
After them, the first that appear to have dwelt therein are the Sicanians, as they say themselves, nay, before the other, as being the natural breed of the island.But the truth is, they were Iberians, and driven away by the Ligyans from the banks of Sicanus, a river on which they were seated in Iberia.And the island from them came to be called Sicania, which was before Trinacria.And these [two] inhabit yet in the western parts of Sicily.
After the taking of Illium, certain Trojans, escaping the hands of the Grecians, landed with small boats in Sicily;and having planted themselves on the borders of the Sicanians, both the nations in one were called Elymi;and their cities were Eryx and Egesta.Hard by these came and dwelled also certain Phoceans, who, coming from Troy, were by tempest carried first into Africa and thence into Sicily.
But the Siculi passed out of Italy (for there they inhabited), flying from the Opici, having, as is most likely and as it is reported, observed the strait, and with a fore wind gotten over in boats which they made suddenly on the occasion, or perhaps by some other means.There is at this day a people in Italy called Siculi.And Italy itself got that name after the same manner from a king of Arcadia called Italus.
Of these a great army crossing into Sicily overthrew the Sicanians in battle and drave them into the south and west parts of the same;and instead of Sicania, caused the island to be called Sicilia;and held and inhabited the best of the land for near three hundred years after their going over, and before any of the Grecians came thither.And till now they possess the midland and north parts of the island.
Also the Phoenicians inhabited the coast of Sicily on all sides, having taken possession of certain promontories and little islands adjacent, for trade's sake with the Sicilians.But after that many Grecians were come in by sea, the Phoenicians abandoned most of their former habitations, and uniting themselves, dwelt in Motya and Soloeis and Panormus, upon the borders of the Elymi, as relying upon their league with the Elymi, and because also from thence lay the shortest cut over unto Carthage.These were the barbarians, and thus they inhabited Sicily.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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