Those who had been left
behind in Himera
spent the night under arms on the
walls; and when with the coming of day the Carthaginians surrounded the city and launched
repeated attacks, the remaining Himeraeans fought with no thought for their lives, expecting
the arrival of the ships.
For that day, therefore, they
continued to hold out, but on the next, even when the triremes were already in sight, it so
happened that the wall began to fall before the blows of the siege-engines and the Iberians to
pour in a body into the city. Some of the barbarians thereupon would hold off the Himeraeans
who rushed up to bring aid, while others, gaining command of the walls, would help their
comrades get in.
Now that the city had been taken by storm,
for a long time the barbarians continued, with no sign of compassion, to slaughter everyone
they seized. But when Hannibal issued orders to take prisoners, although the slaughter stopped,
the wealth of the dwellings now became the objects of plunder.
Hannibal, after sacking the temples and dragging out the suppliants who had fled to them for
safety, set them afire, and the city he razed to the ground, two hundred and forty years after
its founding. Of the captives the women and children he distributed among the army and kept
them under guard, but the men whom he took captive, some three thousand, he led to the spot
where once his grandfather Hamilcar had been slain by Gelon1
and after torturing them put them all to death.
After this, breaking up his army, he sent the Sicilian allies
back to their countries, and accompanying them also were the Campanians, who bitterly
complained to the Carthaginians that, though they had been the ones chiefly responsible for the
Carthaginian successes, the rewards they had received were not a fair return for their
Then Hannibal embarked his army on the
warships and merchant vessels, and leaving behind sufficient troops for the needs of his allies
he set sail from Sicily
. And when he arrived at
with much booty, the whole city came
out to meet him, paying him homage and honour as one who in a brief time had performed greater
deeds than any general before him.