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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 567: Division of Power (I) Bahasa Indonesia

But before Eshmounadon could finish speaking, Martius interjected again, “Your majesty, I have a few more letters here that came with the battle report.”

“Why didn’t you say that earlier? Give it to me quickly!” Davos feigned anger as he criticised him. After pretending to read the letters, he told Eshmounadon, who was watching him, “These letters are from Taunis, Leontinoi, Sikuri…and other city-states asking for an alliance.”

Eshmounadon took the letters, but he was no longer in the mood to read further after reading the first and second letters. He could see that these letters were genuine from the signature and numerous names written at the end; there were even handprints and scribbles.

He could even deduce from the letters that among the leaders of the revolts: There were both upper-class citizens whose handwritings were elegant; there were also ordinary citizens who couldn’t read much, so their writing was crooked; there were also freemen and slaves, who were illiterate and could only scribble. And these mobs, after just expelling Dionysius’ force, had to write in such a hurry to get the protection of the Theonian army. Apart from that, they also wanted to get Theonia’s support in the next election to gain additional benefits for the groups they represented.

Fortunately, the anxious Eshmounadon didn’t take the time to read the letters. Otherwise, he would’ve noticed that there were no letters from Catania.

In truth, there was one, but Davos had to remove it. Antrapolis wrote the letter of Catania and emphasised that under his repeated persuasion, the citizens, freemen, and even a small number of slaves agreed to integrate Catania into the Theonia Union…

And that was the reason why Davos didn’t include that letter. In addition to that, there was another letter from a city-state asking to join Theonia, and that was Naxos. After taking back their homes, the former exiles decided to rebuild the city of Naxos and present it to Theonia.

It was because after Dionysius destroyed the cities of Catania and Naxos, the people here knew more than other city-states in Sicily that peace and tranquillity were far more important than the seemingly freer but actually dangerous independence. Thus under the guidance of Antrapolis and his men, the two city-states willingly chose to integrate with Theonia, the Greek city-state union that could defeat the terrifying and powerful Syracuse, so that they would no longer be homeless.

In a daze, Eshmounadon handed the letter back to Davos, no longer confident of persuading him, “King Davos, after defeating Syracuse, you should first prioritise…the restoration of Magna Graecia to its former prosperity. With the complex relations between the various city-states in Sicily are complex, as well as the contradictions between the Sicels and the Greeks, Theonia shouldn’t involve yourself on this island rashly. Moreover, due to your unfamiliarity, it would be easy for you to fall into the mire of conflicts between the various city-states, which would hinder Theonia’s development…”

“Lord Eshmounadon, thank you for your concern and reminder.” Davos smiled faintly and asked rhetorically, “Among the soldiers of Syracuse that came to invade Magna Graecia were citizens from the city-states of Leontinoi, Taunis, Catania, Sikuri, and so on… What do you think they would do if the Theonian Alliance refused these city-states?”

Eshmounadon was stunned and before he could answer, Henipolis, who was next to him, interjected, “They would suspect that Theonia still hates those who help Syracuse invade Magna Graecia. Hence in fear of retaliation, they would likely join forces with Syracuse again to resist possible threats.”

“That’s right. They would ally with a new Syracuse that doesn’t have the tyrant Dionysius, just like pouring a jar of wine into another empty jar and its taste remaining the same. And the result is that Syracuse would still be the leader of the Greek city-states of Sicily! Is that what Carthage wishes to see?!” Davos asked again.

Eshmounadon had to admit that this situation would likely happen, so he stammeringly said, “You… You can tell these city-states that you have no intention of attacking them, and you can sign…a friendly treaty with them…”

With a smile, Davos leaned back on the chair and said, “Lord Eshmounadon, did Carthage take the initiative to sign a friendly treaty with their neighbouring Phoenician city-states?”

That startled Eshmounadon, but he then understood Davos’ intention: A lion would never care about the feelings of livestock! Powerful city-states have their own dignity, so the weaker city-states would always take the initiative to curry favour to ensure their safety. With Theonia having defeated Syracuse, they have now gained the prestige of a powerful city-state, so they will naturally not do this self-deprecating foolishness.

Feeling his skin heating up, Eshmounadon suddenly heard Davos continue, “In addition, Syracuse is far more powerful than other city-states in Sicily, including the city-states under Carthage. Hence no matter what government Syracuse would become and who would be in power, they would still attract the surrounding city-states to join them as time passed. By then, Syracuse will still be a threat to Magna Graecia and Carthage! Therefore Catania, Leontinoi…these city-states in the central area of eastern Sicily closest to Magna Graecia, wanted to break away from Syracuse’s sphere of influence, so they asked for an alliance with Theonia. They would then become Magna Graecia’s southern barrier so that once Syracuse wanted to invade Magna Graecia, they must first conquer the area north of them. So even if the war started, Magna Graecia wouldn’t suffer any damage! Thus we in Theonia will agree to their demands and ally with them!”

Listening to Davos’ decisive words, Eshmounadon suddenly realised something, “Could it be that Theonia doesn’t intend to destroy Syracuse?”

“Destroy Syracuse?” Davos then said as if he had just heard a joke, “If Carthage couldn’t do it, how can the wounded Theonia do it?! The only thing we can do is to weaken Syracuse to ensure Magna Graecia’s safety.”

After hearing Davos’ answer, Eshmounadon felt agitated, regretful and even uneasy about Theonia’s insistence on accepting the city-states of Sicily. After all, this would be the first time in centuries that a foreign power set foot in Sicily! (The Athenian invasion during the Peloponnesian War doesn’t count as they were too far apart, unlike Magna Graecia, which was separated by a strait that was only a few kilometres away…)

“Lord Eshmounadon, do you know which kind of geometry is the most stable?” Davos suddenly asked.

Geometry, which was developed to calculate land area, has been highly praised among Greek scholars who like to study natural science. Some Athenian scholars even claimed that geometry is the foundation of all knowledge!

“What?” Eshmounadon, who had come to his senses, was stunned again as he didn’t expect Davos to ask an irrelevant question.

“It’s a triangle.” Davos then bluntly said, “Why are Carthage and Syracuse constantly at war in Sicily? Because they were the two most powerful forces in Sicily.”

Davos held out his two fingers and said, “As long as they meet, war will inevitably happen because of conflict of interests, and there is no room for manoeuvre. But if Theonia joins-” Davos put up another finger and formed a triangle, “The three parties would hold each other in check, allowing for long-term peace to be reached! Because if one side wants to wage war against the other, they would need to consider the threat from a third party.”

Eshmounadon stared at Davos’ fingers and hesitantly said, “It is also possible for the two forces to unite.”

Davos smiled and said, “This war has made Theonia and Syracuse mortal enemies, so it is impossible for us to unite and attack Carthage. Don’t you think so as well?”

Eshmounadon didn’t speak as he thought, ‘Syracuse burnt Crotone, slaughtered the Scylletians, and ravaged the Theonian territory, so the Magna Graecians truly hated them! And that’s why the Theonians sold some of the captured Syracusan citizens to Carthage, and if the Syracusans find out about that, they definitely wouldn’t forgive the Theonians…’

“So would Carthage and Syracuse join force and attack Theonia?”

Eshmounadon shook his head. After all, decades of war have deepened the hatred between the two city-states.

“Although we would like to join forces with you, Carthaginians, to destroy Syracuse, our current situation once again made it impossible to achieve it. In a few decades, two powers might be able to unite. However, the distribution of interests would always be uneven, and the third party will always find a flaw to break the union. Thus the peace in Sicily could be guaranteed for a long time, which would also be in Carthage’s interests! Am I right, Lord Eshmounadon?” Davos said gently.

Eshmounadon could already feel that there was some truth in what Davos said. However, he remained silent as such an important matter was beyond the scope of his mission.

Unfortunately, Davos didn’t plan to just end it, “Heni, go get the map.”

Henipolis then laid the map of Sicily on the table. Afterwards, Davos took up his quill and said, “If I am not wrong, the west of Ziz(Palermo) and Selinus is Carthage’s sphere of influence.”

With that, he ‘separated’ a large western corner of Sicily with a stroke of his quill, and then he continued, “Syracuse to the south to the north of Kamarina belongs to Syracuse’s sphere of influence.”

He stretched out his quill and made another stroke that ‘separated’ a small corner on the southeast. He then finally said, “Tauromenium, Naxos, Sikuri, Catania, Leontinoi, and Taunis would come under Theonia.” After saying that, he carefully drew a narrow line along the east coast of Sicily.


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