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War at sea

1st Punic war; Agrigento besieged

263 bc

Hiero changes sides
The Romans sent the next year 2 consular armies. That means 16,000 foot and 1200 horse. Polybius doesn't mention the auxiliares but almost certain there were approximately the same number of non Roman, allied, soldiers. Usually they brought more horse than the Romans. With this power they moved to Sysacusae, where Hiero promptly sued for peace. The Roman conditions were mild: Free release of his prisoners and 100 talents of silver. This is a pattern: The Romans attack and you pay for peace!

Carthaginian counter measures
Now Hiero was on their side the Romans meant their logistics were secured; Hiero would feed their troops. Carthago recruited new forces from Spain, Liguria and Celts and sent them to Akragas (modern Agrigento). Under command of Hannibal they entered the City. (Hannibal Barcas hadn't been born yet)

Siege of the besiegers
Now the Syracusans are on the Roman side the Romans withdrew one army. The army left move to Akragas and started a siege. Carthago sent another army under command of Hanno. He landed in Heracleia (NE from Akragas) and moved to Akragas. In his turn he besieged the besiegers.

Akragas had no port where new supplies could have been delivered from sea and after a while famine became a problem. The same was true for the Romans, but they had help from Hiero. There were some small battles. Some won by the Romans some by the Carthaginians. In the end the Romans became victorious against Hanno. In the night Hannibal sneaked out of the city with his mercenary army and left Akragas to be plundered and the people enslaved by the Romans.

    Temple near Agrigento    

Temple near Agrigento. The city is situated on a hill top behind the back of the photographer


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