|Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Sicily ▸ HimeraView Options: | | | |
Himera (Termini), on the north coast of Sicily, was an ancient Chalcidic colony from Zancle, founded in the middle of the seventh century B.C. In 409 B.C., Carthage attacked Himera. The city was unprepared; its fortifications weak. At first they were supported about 4000 auxiliaries from Syracuse, but their general, Diocles, seized with panic for the safety of Syracuse itself, abandoned Himera. The city was utterly destroyed, its buildings, even its temples, were razed to the ground. More than 3000 prisoners were executed by General Hannibal Mago as a human sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather General Hamilcar who had been defeated at the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C. The site has been desolate ever since. The few surviving Greeks were settled by the Carthaginians eleven kilometers west of Himera at Thermae Himeraeae (Termini Imerese today). Thermae was taken by the Romans during the First Punic War.
|After Terillus, tyrant of Himera, was removed, he requested aid from. Hamilcar landed at Carthagian with an army of 300,000 men. Himera was just outside the eastern boundary of the Carthaginian-controlled , very near . Himera held its defenses until Gelon of arrived with a smaller Greek army. Despite the numerical inferiority, the Greeks defeated the Carthaginians with such slaughter that the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C. was regarded by the Greeks of as worthy of comparison with the of Salamis. A tradition grew, that both triumphs were achieved on the very same day. The tradition was probably fiction, but the battle did cripple Carthage's power in for decades.|