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Please note that Mommsen uses the AUC chronology (Ab Urbe Condita), i.e. from the founding of the City of Rome. You can use this reference table to have the B.C. dates


III. From the Union of Italy to the Subjugation of Carthage and the Greek States

From: The History of Rome, by Theodor Mommsen
Translated with the sanction of the author by William Purdie Dickson

The History of Old Rome

Chapter II - The War between Rome and Carthage Concerning Sicily


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Page 17

Capture of Agrigentum

The Romans had thus gained their immediate object. By their double alliance with Messana and Syracuse, and the firm hold which they had on the whole east coast, they secured the means of landing on the island and of maintaining--which hitherto had been a very difficult matter--their armies there; and the war, which had previously been doubtful and hazardous, lost in a great measure its character of risk. Accordingly, no greater exertions were made for it than for the wars in Samnium and Etruria; the two legions which were sent over to the island for the next year (492) sufficed, in concert with the Sicilian Greeks, to drive the Carthaginians everywhere into their fortresses.

The commander-in-chief of the Carthaginians, Hannibal son of Gisgo, threw himself with the flower of his troops into Agrigentum, to defend to the last that most important of the Carthaginian inland cities. Unable to storm a city so strong, the Romans blockaded it with entrenched lines and a double camp; the besieged, who numbered 50,000 soon suffered from want of provisions. To raise the siege the Carthaginian admiral Hanno landed at Heraclea, and cut off in turn the supplies from the Roman besieging force. On both sides the distress was great.

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