cepting Syracuse and Agrigentum, while the consideration in
which she was held by more distant states, engaged her as an
auxiliary in the contests of the principal powers of Greece'.
She was distinguished for tier public and private riches, for the
extent of her population, and for her military and naval re-
sources". In the splendour of her public buildings she emulated
the other cities of Magna Grsecia, and her temples, admired for
their grandeur and for the treasures they contained, were objects
not only of pride to herself, but of solicitude to neighbouring and
even rival states3. For this opulence and prosperity she was
probably indebted to foreign commerce, for which her situation,
though exposed and insecure against hostilities, was in ancient
times highly favourable ; her position over against the continent
of Africa, the short and easy passage across the intervening
channel, and a convenient emporium for her merchandize at the
confluence of the river Mazzara with the sea, gave her every
facility for traffic with the Carthaginians, who were the most
commercial people of those days.
The extent of the dominion of the Selinuntians over the
surrounding country is not precisely known. Their inland boun-
dary has never been distinctly defined, and it appears never to
have been settled by themselves, since it was the subject of
continual dispute with the neighbouring jEgestans. On the
coast the limits of their jurisdiction are less uncertain : from
their emporium at the mouth of the Mazzara westward, their
sway seems to have extended eastward as far as Heraclea Minoa,
which was their colony. Whether all the intervening country
1 Xcnopli. Mist. Gra*. lib. i. ■ Thucyd. lib. vi. 20.
1 Diod. Sic. lib. sin. 5!).