Chapter

The Coming of the Romans: Sicily from the fourth to the first centuries <span class="smallCaps">bc</span>

John Serrati

in Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780748613670
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748650996 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613670.003.0009
The Coming of the Romans: Sicily from the fourth to the first centuries bc

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While the economy remained steady, the stability brought about by the reforms of Timoleon did not last much beyond his retirement. Fresh political anarchy ensued, with various individuals and groups vying for power, amongst them a soldier called Agathocles from Sicily's most powerful city, Syracuse. As usual, the individual states of Greek Sicily once again asserted themselves in the power vacuum and created political and military anarchy. Agathocles' former mercenaries, the Mamertines of Campania, seized Messana in the northeast, and through their plundering expeditions proceeded to become a thorn in the side of Syracuse. Carthage again threatened, but no champion arose to counter the danger. Rome accepted the Mamertine request, and thus began the First Punic War in 264. Messana was initially taken, and this forced Carthage and Syracuse into a military alliance.

Keywords: Timoleon; anarchy; Agathocles; Sicily; Syracuse; Mamertines; Messana; Carthage; Rome; First Punic War

Chapter.  2711 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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