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409 B.C.When the events of this year had come to an end, in Athens Diocles took over the chief office,Of archon. and in Rome Quintus Fabius and Gaius Furius held the consulship. At this time Hannibal, the general of the Carthaginians, gathered together both the mercenaries he had collected from Iberia and the soldiers he had enrolled from Libya, manned sixty ships of war, and made ready some fifteen hundred transports. On these he loaded the troops, the siege-engines, missiles, and all the other accessories. After crossing with the fleet the Libyan Sea he came to land in Sicily on the promontory which lies opposite Libya and is called Lilybaeum; and at that very time some Selinuntian cavalry were tarrying in those regions, and having seen the great size of the fleet as it came to land, they speedily informed their fellow citizens of the presence of the enemy. The Selinuntians at once dispatched their letter-carriers to the Syracusans,