Rival of Ancient Carthage



Again we gather from Phoenicia's enemies a fragment of her history. The Carthaginians planted colonies of their own in the island of Sicily. The rising nation of the Greeks did the same, and so about 500 B.C. the two peoples clashed. A Greek historian tells us that his countrymen in Sicily attacked a huge invading force of three hundred thousand Carthaginians. The first contest was indecisive. Then the Greeks prepared a stratagem. A band of them pretended to be traitors and so secured admission among the enemy. The Carthaginians held a religious ceremonial to pledge faith with these supposed allies, and in the midst of it the little Greek band turned with sudden slaughter on their entertainers. The outside army of the Greeks attacked at the same moment, and the whole host of Carthage was put to flight.

The story of what followed is as tragic as that of the battle. The Carthaginian ships were destroyed, so that the masses of fugitives could not escape from Sicily, and were driven to flee from mountain to mountain in the barren interior of the island. They perished by thousands from the sword and from starvation. They entreated the Greeks to take them as slaves, and so numerous were these slaves that they could scarcely be fed and were treated like cattle. This Grecian story of triumph is doubtless exaggerated; for Carthage continued to divide with Greece the control of Sicily, and in the course of a couple of centuries conquered the entire island and expelled the Greeks.






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Read about Rival of Ancient Carthage in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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