Angell, Samuel
Sculptured metopes discovered amongst the ruins of the ancient city of Selinus in Sicily by William Harris and Samuel Angell in the year 1823 — London, 1826

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proposal, so favourable to the execution of designs, long fostered,
of extending the Punic possessions in Sicily, was not to be neg-
lected by that ambitious and enterprising people, who, after
some management to secure the neutrality of the Syracusans,
whose interference they dreaded, took the city of iEgesta under
their protection. As a preliminary step, they immediately gar-
risoned their new acquisition with a body of mercenary troops:
aided by these the inhabitants making a sally on the unpre-
pared and scattered Selinuntians, slaughtered above a thousand
of them, and recovered all the spoil they had amassed'. This
reverse was a prelude to a far greater calamity which already
threatened Selinus. In the ensuing year, the third of the nine-
ty-second Olympiad, Hannibal, the son of Giscon, at the head
of an armament, which the lowest computation estimates at one
hundred thousand men", burning with a desire of avenging the
calamity which his grandfather and countrymen had experienced
at Himera, invaded Sicily and made Selinus the first object of his
attack. The city was wholly unprepared to resist such an enemy ;
confiding in the tranquillity it had long enjoyed, its walls were
dilapidated, and its fortifications dismantled. The natural courage
of the inhabitants, and the despair with which the known ferocity
of their invaders inspired them, were their only hopes of defence ;
and these enabled them, in spite of all disadvantages and im-
mense disparity of force, to oppose, for the space of nine days,
a brave resistance to the repeated and impetuous assaults of the
enemy. Their most devoted efforts, however, were vain against
the superior numbers of their invaders, and against the destruc-
tive and formidable engines of war with which these were pro-
vided. On the tenth day of the siege, the Carthaginians forced

1 Dial Sic. lib. sni. s;s and 11. ' Xenophon, Hist. Griec. lib. i.
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