en English
en Englishid Indonesian

Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 568: Division of Power (II) Bahasa Indonesia

When looking at the map, Theonia occupied the smallest territory among the three powers. However, Davos played a small trick as he did not circle the entire Catanian plain even though Antrapolis controlled its east.

“The other city-states, such as Agrigento, Gela, Tyndaris…would become neutral city-states, serving as buffer zones for Carthage, Syracuse and Theonia.” Said Davos seriously as he pointed at the icons on the map with his quill.

After checking the map carefully, Eshmounadon suddenly said, “Do these neutral city-states include Messina?”

Although Messina isn’t large, it is also part of Sicily’s important city-state as its location is crucial.

“Of course not!” Said Davos without hesitation, “The citizens of new Messina were from Locri and Medma, who were accomplices of Dionysius in this war by blockading the Strait of Messina and attacking the port of Rhegium several times. Thus for their safety, Rhegium proposed to us to attack Messina, and the Theonian Senate has agreed to their request for a joint attack…” And once again, Davos concealed the fact that ‘Theonia and Rhegium have decided to share control of Messina’.

But as they aren’t Greek and their two most important waterways don’t pass through the straight, the Carthaginians don’t care much about Messina. After looking at the map again, Eshmounadon thought about Davos’ suggestion for some time. Then he looked up and said, “Dear king Davos, the Carthaginian Senate sent me here to revise the friendly treaty between Theonia and Carthage and find out how Theonia would proceed on your war with Syracuse. But I never could expect…that you would give me such a…err…surprise! However, I could only take your proposal back to the Senate as it is beyond the scope of my authority.”

Davos expressed his understanding. Then he unhurriedly said, “I hope Carthage’s reply could arrive quicker because I am afraid that the Syracusans in the city of Scylletium wouldn’t last for a few days before they surrender.” Davos could confidently say those words as the news of Dionysius’ escape leaked, and the defending soldiers were already panicking. Moreover, the Syracusans had sent a messenger to negotiate peace again, so Davos took the opportunity to tell him about the latest situation in Sicily. Thus whether they believed it or not, a bigger disturbance in the city of Scylletium was bound to happen.

Hearing that considerably shook Eshmounadon as he understood what Davos meant: The surrender of the Syracusans in the city of Scylletium meant the end of the war in south Italia. By then, Carthage would have to negotiate with Theonia on different terms.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

After seeing off the Carthaginian envoy who had left in a hurry, Henipolis asked, “Your majesty, would Carthage agree with your proposal?”

“Judging from the envoy’s behaviour just now and what we investigated on Carthage’s situation over the past few days, we can see that they are seriously against war. So even though Sicily’s situation is very favourable for Carthage, many elders in the Carthaginian Senate may not agree to start another war….” Davos recalled much of the information about Carthage that he had read before and continued, “So as long as they could negotiate, the Carthaginians, who value efficiency, wouldn’t be foolish enough to use force. What’s more, Carthage should understand that occupying the whole of Sicily would be harmful to them.”

“Why?” Henipolis asked curiously.

“You can understand the reason after thinking about it.”

“…umm…is it because they would arouse the wrath of the entire Greek world against them?”

“Correct. If Carthage were to occupy the entire Sicily, a foreign force would threaten not only our Magna Graecia but also Greece. So how could the Greeks accept such a situation! Carthage should’ve realised it during their past wars with Syracuse as they hadn’t only fought the Syracusans but also with the Greeks in Italia and Greece…”

“Oh, Carthage, which is just a city-state, naturally couldn’t overcome the strength of the whole of Greece. Either way, they would fail. ”

“Heni, your teacher was interested in Carthage recently and had collected a lot of information. Have you seen them?” Davos asked to change the subject.

“Your majesty, it’s not like you didn’t know I was in Laos. So how could I have the time to visit my teacher?” Henipolis felt slightly uncomfortable mentioning Laos.

“Anyway, after reading those materials and discussing it with Ansitanos, I realised that the Phoenicians had quite a few colonies in the western Mediterranean and colonised much earlier than we Greeks, but why do we only know about Carthage?”

“Yes, why?” Henipolis asked with interest.

Davos explained in detail, “It is because the Phoenicians had a different way of colonising than us Greeks. We Greeks colonised because we had too many people but too little land to support a larger population, so we were forced to colonise to survive and gain new land…while the Phoenicians colonised…no, it shouldn’t be called colonisation but commercial activity. The Phoenicians ventured into the western Mediterranean hundreds of years ago to make huge profits. But as a result, they discovered silver mines on the Iberian Peninsula and precious metal mines in Sardinia…thus in order to collect these precious metals and transport them back to Phoenician’s land, they built many trading posts on the coast of Africa and in the west of Sicily.

Take note that it is a trading post, not a town! And most of the Phoenicians in the trading posts mainly were engaged in metalworking and transport trade, so to meet their daily needs, they had to trade with their neighbours, the aborigines and our Greek city-states. And as they could integrate into the local environments of the western Mediterranean, the Phoenicians became an alien race that could live in harmony with its neighbours. So even though there was strife in the royal family in the Phoenician land that led some members of the city of Tyre’s royal family to flee to Carthage, they still managed to lead Carthage to rise and replace Tyre, the mother city-state of the Phoenicians, into becoming the new trade centre for the Phoenicians in the western Mediterranean. At the same time, the Carthaginians and the Greeks lived in harmony-”

“Wait a moment, your majesty. But the Carthaginians had evil intentions toward the Greeks in Sicily as they repeatedly invaded the Greeks’ territory! Moreover, they sacrificed the children and had repulsive behaviour!!” Henipolis rashly interrupted Davos with a look of displeasure.

Davos didn’t mind his interruption and just gently smiled, “I won’t comment about that as sacrificing children is their tradition. But from what your teacher had gathered, he concluded that it was precisely our Greek’s several attacks on Carthage’s allies that led to their counterattack.

A hundred years ago, the Spartan prince Dorieus claimed that the land around Eryx in western Sicily was the resting place of his ancestor, Heracles. Thus he wanted to build a city there. But Eryx, the religious centre of the Carthaginians in Sicily, would not allow the arrogant Spartans to build a city, so Carthage went to war and drove out the allied Greek forces led by Sparta.

Then decades ago, the army of the tyrant Gelon of Syracuse launched an attack on Himera, a friendly ally of Carthage, which led to the Carthaginian reinforcements arriving. But after Gelon defeated Carthage, he portrayed the war as a great victory comparable to the Greek allied force’s victory over Persia.

Thus I think it was Syracuse who deliberately spread most of the terrible images of the Carthaginians over the years in order to force the other city-states in Sicily to unite against them…”

“Your majesty, do you mean that all of those are the plots of Syracuse?!” Henipolis asked with astonishment.

“The Carthaginians had to make a show of might from time to time to deter these people’s greed. After all, the Carthaginian’s mother states, Tyre and Sidon, could not provide a constant flow of new settlers like the Greeks, so the Carthaginians, whose population was smaller, were probably constantly on guard against the avarice of the Greeks, who came from the eastern Mediterranean to the west of Sicily…”

After Davos finished speaking, Henipolis chuckled and said, “Your majesty, you don’t seem to be a Greek when explaining.”

Davos then sternly said, “Only from a neutral standpoint can one understand the true feelings of the Carthaginians. Hence I think Carthage would be happy to accept the friendship of a powerful Greek neighbour at this time!” Said Davos, but he had other thoughts: At this time, Theonia could not afford to provoke Carthage, so it’s better just to let it sleep and have them continue to do their business, trade and tend their farm.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dionysius’ ship took advantage of its familiarity with the east coast of Sicily to bring the pursuing fast-sailing ship of Theonia into reefy areas, thus escaping their pursuit. And when passing through Taunis, they bypassed the Theonian fleet’s blockade and finally reached the island of Ortygia.

The island of Ortygia had a tight defence as it was surrounded by the sea on three sides, with cliffs everywhere and a walled city on top. The island also had a small port, but neither could a ship stop nearby nor get onto the island unless allowed. But it wasn’t a problem for Dionysius.

As soon as Dionysius landed on the island, Hipparinus, Kaladmus, and the mercenary leader Megakorlis rushed to welcome him.

“Thank Apollo! You are finally back, Lord Dionysius! Milord, Herolis launched a rebellion after you left, and he instigated…”

Dionysius’ heart sank when he heard Kaladmus’ long-winded narration. Moreover, Dionysius could already feel something amiss when he saw the Theonian fleet in the sea near Taunis, and now that feeling had come true as he couldn’t even believe that Syracuse’s situation would be much worse: The Theonian army had defeated the allied forces led by Macias and almost all the city-states north of Syracuse rebelled and broke away from their control. Even the whole city of Syracuse, except for the island of Ortygia, had become the territory of the rebels…

So the more he listened, the more annoyed Dionysius became that he couldn’t stop himself from shouting, “Cut the crap!!!” resulting in Kaladmus becoming as quiet as cicadas in late autumn.

Dionysius just stood there panting heavily. After straightening out his disordered thoughts, he looked up at his father-in-law and asked, “Where is Philistus?”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chapter List