Text #3733

Diodorus Siculus. The Library of History. Vol. 7
[Diod. 15.24. Translated by C. H. Oldfather. Harvard University Press. 1935. (12 Vols.) p. 13]

During their term of office the Carthaginians invaded Italy and restored their city to the Hipponiatae who had been exiled from it, and, having gathered together all the refugees, they showed themselves very solicitous of their welfare. After this a plague broke out among the inhabitants of Carthage which was so violent and took off so many of the Carthaginians that they risked losing their commanding position. For the Libyans, undervaluing them, seceded, and the Sardinians, thinking they now had an opportunity to oppose the Carthaginians, revolted, and, making common cause, attacked the Carthaginians.

And about the same time a supernatural disaster befell Carthage; for turmoils and fears and panicky disturbances constantly occurred throughout the city defying explanation; and many men rushed from their houses in arms, having the impression that enemies had burst into the city, and they fought constantly with one another as if with enemies, killing some and wounding others. Finally, after having propitiated the deity by sacrifices and with difficulty rid themselves of their misfortunes, they quickly subdued the Libyans and recovered the island of Sardinia.

Text #3734

Ray. Greek and Macedonian Land Battles of the 4th Century B.C
[p. 46]

During the Third Sicilian War1, Dionysus I of Syracuse opened hostilities in 383 against Carthage for the purpose of adding western Sicily to his realm. The Syracusan kicked off this conflict by supporting successful revolts of several cities in Carthagian Sicily. Carthage responds by allying with Italian Greeks. The first sequence of the war between 383-380 consisted of scattered skirmishes between small contingents.

In 379-378, Diodorus reports that Carthage suffered a series of calamities. These included a plague, a supernatural disaster, along with a pair of rebellions in Libya and Sardinia, that sought to exploit the disease’s weakening of Punic strength. As a result, it was not until 377 that the Carthagians struck Sicily.

  1. The Sicilian Wars were the longest lasting wars of classical antiquity. This series of conflicts were fought between the Carthaginians and the Greek city-states led by Syracuse over control of Sicily and the western Mediterranean between 600 BC and 265 BC.

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