|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 5, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
Cty of northern Sicily (area
The city was founded around 625 by settlers coming from Zancle and banished citizens from Syracuse (Thucydides, VI, 5).
Around 489, Terillus, tyrant of Himera, was ousted by Theron, tyrant of Acragas. As a result, he called for help upon the Carthaginians, who had long had settlements on the western shores of Sicily (Carthage, on what is now the Bay of Tunis, on the shores of North Africa, is only about 100 miles away from the western tip of Sicily). With the help of Anaxilaos, tyrant of Reggio, his son-in-law, he assembled a huge army under the leadership of Amilcar, king of Carthage (Herodotus, VII, 165). But, in 480, they were defeated in the battle of Himera by Theron, who had received help from Gelon, the tyrant of Syracuse. The tradition has it that the battle took place on the very same day as the battle of Salamis (Herodotus, VII, 166-167), as if to suggest that the Greek world was saved from "barbarians" from the east (the Persians) and west (the Carthaginians) on that day. It is worth noticing that the Carthaginians were of Phoenician origin and that most of the fleet that was defeated at Salamis was made up of Phoenician contingents in the Persian army (Persia irtself was not a country of sailors and had to hire or enroll mercenaries for subjected countries to staff its fleet).