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The Peace Treaty of 405


Sicily. Design Jona Lendering.
(**)
In 410-405, Carthage waged war against the Greeks of Sicily and was able to conquer several cities: Selinus, Himera, Acragas, and Gela. An epidemic in their army prevented them from advancing to Syracuse, where Dionysius became tyrant. He and the Carthaginian commander Himilco signed a peace treaty; Diodorus of Sicily quotes the original document in his Library of World History (13.114.1-2). The translation was made by C.H. Oldfather.

Consequently Himilco, acting under the stress of circumstances, dispatched a herald to Syracuse urging the vanquished to make up their differences. Dionysius was glad to comply and they concluded peace on the following terms:

  1. To the Carthaginians shall belong, together with their original colonists, the Elymi and Sicani;
  2. the inhabitants of Selinus, Acragas, and Himera as well as those of Gela and Camarina may dwell in their cities, which shall be unfortified, but shall pay tribute to the Carthaginians;
  3. the inhabitants of Leontini and Messana and the Siceli shall all live under laws of their own making,
  4. the Syracusans shall be subject to Dionysius;
  5. whatever captives and ships are held shall be returned to those who lost them.
As soon as this treaty had been concluded, the Carthaginians sailed off to Libya, having lost more than half their soldiers from the plague; but the pestilence continued to rage no less in Libya also and great numbers both of the Carthaginians themselves and of their allies were struck down.
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