THE SIEGE OF AGRIGENTUM,
BY ELEANOR ALLEN.
CHARLES C. LITTLE AND JAMES BROWN.
Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1841,
By F. ALLEN,
In the clerk’s office of the Distíct Court of Massachusetts.
FREEMAN AND BOLLES PRINTERS,
AGRIGENTUM, the subject of the following poem, was situated on the southern shore of the Island of Sici]y, facing Africa. Polybius states that its first inhabitants were Rhodians, which opinion Thucydides supports in his sixth book, wherein he relates that the Geloi, who were of Rhodian origin, built the town and called it Acragas from a small stream of that name, which flowed through the valley. The valley of Agrigentum was watered by the Hypsa and the Acragas, two small rivers. At the mouth of the latter, was an excellent harbor. It was sheltered behind by Iofty bilis and high ridges of rocks, which presented a strong natural barrier. This city, which by its commerce and industry had risen to great opulente and splendor, excited the cupidity of the Carthaginians, who, without any known provocation, commenced a war against the Agrigentines. Under the command of Hannibal, son of Gisgo, and grandson of Hamilcar, the Carthaginians despatched a fleet and army for the conquest of this city. The army being landed, a siege was commenced and prosecuted with uncommon vigor and resolution ; but as it was well fortified, it withstood the attacks of
the assailants until it was reduced by famine. During the siege the Agrigentines displayed the most heroic courage and fortitude.
Pressed by famine, before its capture, many of the inhabitants fled to Gela, the nearest city on the island,- leaving those who were incapable of flight, to the fury of their conquerors. Alter the capture, the army of the Carthaginians was quartered in the city until the succeeding spring, when, after plundering it of every thing valuable and laying it in ruins, the fleet returned with the spoil to Carthage.
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