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the command of this war, they gave him for lieutenant, Imilcon, son of Hanno, of the same family. The preparations for this war were equal to the great design which the Carthaginians had formed. The fleet and army were soon ready, and set out for Sicily. The number of their forces, according to Timeus, amounted to above one hundred and twenty thousand ; and according to Ephorus, to three hundred thousand men. The enemy, on their side, had put themselves in a posture of defence, and were prepared to give the Carthaginians a warm reception. The Syracusans had sent to all their allies, in order to levy forces among them, and to all the cities of Sicily, to exhort them to exert themselves vigorously, in defence of their liber. ties,
Agrigentum expected to feel the first fury of the enemy. This city was prodigiously rich, and strongly fortified. It was situated as were Hymera and Selinuntum, on that coast of Sicily which faces Africa. Accordingly, Hannibal opened the campaign with the siege of this city. Imagining that it was impregnable except on one side, he turned his whole force that way.
9 The very sepulchral monuments showed the magnificence and luxury of this city, they being adorned with statues of birds and horses. But the wealth and boundless generosity of Galliar, one of its inhabitants, is almost incredible. He entertained the people with spectacles and feasts, and, during a famine, prevented the citizens from dying with hunger : he gave portions to poor maidens, and rescued the unfortunate from want and despair: he had built houses in the city and the country, purposely for the accommodation of strangers, whom he usually dismissed with handsome presents: five hundred shipwrecked citizens of Gela, applying to him, were bountifully relieved, and every man supplied with a cloak and a coat out of his wardrobe. Diod. I. xiii
. Valer. Max. l. iv..c. ult. Empedocles the philosopher, born in Agrigentum, has a memorable sayiug concerning bis fellowcitizens ; that the Agrigentines squandered their money so exces. sively every day, as if they expected it could never be exhausted, and built with such solidity and magnificence as if they thought they should live for ever,
He threw up banks and terraces as high as the walls, and made use, on this occasion, of the rubbish and fragments of the tombs standing round the city, which he had demolished for that
purpose. Soon after, the plague infected his army, and swept away a great number of the soldiers, and the general himself. The Carthaginians interpreted this disaster as a punishment inflicted by the gods, who revenged in this manner the injuries done to the dead, whose ghosts many fancied they had seen stalking before them in the night. No more tombs were therefore demolished; prayers were ordered to be made, according to the practice of Car. thage; a child was sacrificed to Saturn, in compliance with a most inhumanly superstitious custom ; and many victims were thrown into the sea in honour of Neptune.
The besieged who at first had gained some advantages, were at last so pressed by famine, that, all hopes of relief seeming desperate, they resolved to abandon the city. The following night was fixed on for this purpose. The reader will naturally image to himself the grief with which these miserable people must be seized, on their being forced to leave their houses, rich possessions, and their country ; but life was still dearer to them than all these. Never was a more melancholy spectacle seen. To omit the rest, a crowd of women, bathed in tears, were seen dragging after them their helpless infants, in order to secure them from the brutal fury of the victor. But the most grievous circumstance was,
the necessity they were under of leaving behind them the aged and sick, who were unable either to fly or to make the least resistance. The unhappy exilęs arrived at Gela, which was the nearest city in their way, and there received all the comforts they could expect in the deplorable condition to which they were reduced.
In the mean time Imilcon entered the city, and murdered all who were found in it. The plunder was immensely rich, and such as might be expected from one of the most opulent cities in Sicily, which contained two hundred thousand inhabitants, and had never been besieged, nor consequently plundered before. A numberless multitude of pictures, vases, and statues of all kinds, were found here, the citizens having an exquisite taste for the polite arts. Among other curiosities was the famous bull' of Phalaris, which was sent to Carthage.
The siege of Agrigentum had lasted eight months. Imilcon made his forces take up their winter quarters in it, to give them the necessary refreshment, and left this city, after laying it entirely in ruins, in the beginning of the spring. He afterwards besieged Gela, and took it, notwithstanding the succours which were brought by Dionysius the tyrant, who had seized upon the government of Syracuse. Imilcon ended the war by a treaty with Dionysius. The articles of it were, that the Carthaginians, besides their ancient acquisitions in Sicily, should still possess the country of the Sicanians, Selinuntum, Agrigentum, and Hymera ; as likewise that of Gela and Camarina, with leave for the inhabitants to reside in their respective dismantled cities, on condition of their paying a tribute to Carthage: that the Leontines, the Messenians, andallthe Sicilians, should retain their own laws, and preserve their liberty and independence : lastly, that the Syracusans should still continue subject to Dionysius. After this treaty was concluded, Imilcon returned to Carthage, where the plague still made dreadful havoc.
* This bull, with other spoils here taken, was afterwards restored to the Agrigentines by Scipio, when he took Carthage in the third Punio var. Cic. I. iv. in Verrem, c. 33.
* The Sicanians and Sicilians were anciently two distinct people.
* Dionysius had concluded the late peace with the Carthaginians, in no other view but to get time to establish his new authority, and make the necessary preparations for the war which he meditated against them. As he was very sensible how formidable those people were, he used his utmost endeavours to enable himself to invade them with success; and his design was wonderfully well seconded by the zeal of his subjects. The fame of this prince, the strong desire he had to distinguish himself, the charms of gain, and the prospect of the rewards which he promised those who should show the greatest industry, invited from all quarters into Sicily, the most able artists and workmen at that time in the world. All Syracuse now be. came in a manner a common workshop, in every part of which men were seen making swords, helmets, shields, and military engines ; and in preparing all things necessary for building ships and fitting out fleets. The invention of five benches of oars, or quinqueremes, was at that time very recent, for till then only three u had been used. Dionysius animated the workmen by his presence, and by the applauses he gave, and the bounty which he bestowed seasonbly, but chiefly by his popular and engaging behaviour, which excited more strongly than any other conduct the industry and ardour of the workmen; "the most excellent of whom, in every art, had frequently the honour to dine with him.
*A.M. 3600. A. Carth. 442. Rom. 344. Ant. J. C. 404. Dion. l. xiv. p. 268-278.
When all things were ready, and a great number of forces had been levied in different countries, he called the Syracusans together, laid his design before them, and represented the Carthaginians as the professed enemies to the Greeks ; that they had no less in view than the invasion of all Sicily ; the subjecting all the Grecian cities; and that in case their progress was not checked, the Syracusans themselves would soon be attacked ; that the reason why the Carthaginians did not attempt any enterprise, and continued inactive, was owing entirely to the dreadful havoc made by the plague among them ; which he observed, was a favourable opportunity for the Syracusans. Though the tyranny and the tyrant were equally odious to Syracuse, yet the hatred the people in question bore to the Carthaginians prevailed over all other considerations; and every one, guided more by the views of an interested policy than by the dictates of justice, received the speech with applause. Upon this, without the least complaint made of treaties violated, or making a declar. ation of war, Dionysius gave up to the fury of the populace, the persons and possessions of the Carthaginians. Great numbers of them resided at that time in Syracuse, and traded there on the faith of treaties. But now the common people ran to their houses, plundered their effects, and pretended they were sufficiently authorized to exercise every ignominy and inflict every kind of punishment on them, for the cruelties they had exercised against the natives of the country. And this
Honos alit artes.