Justin 22.5

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In the seventh year of his reign, therefore, accompanied by his two grown-up sons, Archagathus and Hemclides, he directed his course towards Africa, not one of his men knowing whither he was sailing; but while they all supposed that they were going to Italy or Sardinia for plunder, he landed his army on the coast of Africa, and then for the first time made known his intentions to them all. He reminded them in what condition Syracuse was, “for which there was no other remedy but that they should inflict on the enemy the distresses that they themselves were suffering. Wars,” he said, “were conducted in one way at home and in another abroad; at home, a people's only support was what the resources of their country supplied; but abroad, the enemy might be beaten by their own strength, while their allies fell off, and from hatred of their long tyranny, looked about for foreign aid. To this was added, that the cities and fortresses of Africa were not secured with walls, or situated on eminences, but lay in level plains without any fortifications, and might all be induced, by the fear of destruction, to join in the war against Carthage. A greater war, in consequence, would blaze forth against the Carthaginians from Africa itself than from Sicily, as the forces of the whole region would combine against a city greater in name than in power, and he himself would thus gain from the country the strength which he had not brought into it. Nor would victory be only in a small degree promoted by the sudden terror of the Carthaginians, who, astonished at such daring on the part of their enemies, would be in utter consternation. Besides, there would be the burning of country houses, the plundering of fortresses and towns that offered resistance, and siege laid to Carthage itself; from all which disasters they would learn that wars were practicable not only for them against others, but for others against them. By these means the Carthaginians might not only be conquered, but Sicily might be delivered from them; for they would not continue to besiege Syracuse, when they were suffering from a siege of their own city. Nowhere else, therefore, could war be found more easy, or plunder more abundant, for, if Carthage were taken, all Africa and Sicily would be the prize of the victors. The glory, too, of so honourable an enterprise, would be so celebrated through all ages, that it could never be buried in oblivion; for it would be said that they were the only men in the world who had carried abroad against their enemies a war which they could not withstand at home; who, when defeated, had pursued their conquerors, and besieged the besiegers of their own city. They ought all accordingly, to prosecute, with equal courage and cheerfulness, an enterprise, than which none could offer them a more noble reward if they were victorious, or greater honour to their memory if they were conquered.”


  • אגתוקלס לא מגלה לחייליו שאפריקה היא יעד הפלישה אלא רק לאחר שהם יצאו לדרך.
  • לא מצוין בפירוש היכן הוא נחת באפריקה.

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