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Agathocles

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 The History of Rome. Book II

But not content with these attacks on the possessions and commercial communications of the Etruscans in the eastern sea, Dionysius assailed the very heart of the Etruscan power by storming and plundering Pyrgi, the rich seaport of Caere (369). From this blow it never recovered. When the internal disturbances that followed the death of Dionysius in Syracuse gave the Carthaginians freer scope, and their fleet resumed in the Tyrrhene sea that ascendency which with but slight interruptions they thenceforth maintained, it proved a burden no less grievous to Etruscans than to Greeks; so that, when Agathocles of Syracuse in 444 was making preparations for war with Carthage, he was even joined by eighteen Tuscan vessels of war. The Etruscans perhaps had their fears in regard to Corsica, which they probably still at that time retained.  The old Etrusco-Phoenician symmachy, which still existed in the time of Aristotle (370-432), was thus broken up; but the Etruscans never recovered their maritime strength. The Romans Opposed to the Etruscans in Veii This rapid collapse of the Etruscan maritime power would be inexplicable but for the circumstance that, at the very time when the Sicilian Greeks were attacking them by sea, the Etruscans found themselves assailed with the severest blows oil every side by land

 The History of Rome. Book II

But there was no further symptom of movement in Italy; for the war, which Falerii began in 461, scarcely deserves such a name. The Samnites doubtless turned with longing eyes towards Tarentum, which alone was still in a position to grant them aid; but it held aloof. The same causes as before occasioned its inaction - internal misgovernment, and the passing over of the Lucanians once more to the Roman party in the year 456; to which fell to be added a not unfounded dread of Agathocles of Syracuse, who just at that time had reached the height of his power and began to turn his views towards Italy. About 455 the latter established himself in Corcyra whence Cleonymus had been expelled by Demetrius Poliorcetes, and now threatened the Tarentines from the Adriatic as well as from the Ionian sea. The cession of the island to king Pyrrhus of Epirus in 459 certainly removed to a great extent the apprehensions which they had cherished; but the affairs of Corcyra continued to occupy the Tarentines - in the year 464, for instance, they helped to protect Pyrrhus in possession of the island against Demetrius - and in like manner Agathocles did not cease to give the Tarentines uneasiness by his Italian policy

 The History of Rome. Book II

But the man who had worn the crown of Alexander, the brother-in-law of Demetrius, the son-in-law of Ptolemy Lagides and of Agathocles of Syracuse, the highly-trained tactician who wrote memoirs and scientific dissertations on the military art, could not possibly end his days in inspecting at a set time yearly the accounts of the royal cattle steward, in receiving from his brave Epirots their customary gifts of oxen and sheep, in thereupon, at the altar of Zeus, procuring the renewal of their oath of allegiance and repeating his own engagement to respect the laws, and - for the better confirmation of the whole - in carousing with them all night long.  If there was no place for him on the throne of Macedonia, there was no abiding in the land of his nativity at all; he was fitted for the first place, and he could not be content with the second. His views therefore turned abroad. The kings, who were quarrelling for the possession of Macedonia, although agreeing in nothing else, were ready and glad to concur in aiding the voluntary departure of their dangerous rival; and that his faithful war-comrades would follow him where-ever he led, he knew full well. Just at that time the circumstances of Italy were such, that the project which had been meditated forty years before by Pyrrhus's kinsman, his father's cousin, Alexander of Epirus, and quite recently by his father-in-law Agathocles, once more seemed feasible; and so Pyrrhus resolved to abandon his Macedonian schemes and to found for himself and for the Hellenic nation a new empire in the west

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