gtp logo

Location information

Listed 5 sub titles with search on: Biographies  for wider area of: "LILYBAEUM Ancient city SICILY" .

Biographies (5)

Related to the place


Gisco, commander of the Carthaginian garrison at Lilybaeum, at the end of the first Punic war. (Polyb. i. 66.) It appears that he must have succeeded Himilco in this command, but at what period we are not informed. After the conclusion of peace (B. C. 241), Hamilcar Barca having brought down his troops from Eryx to Lilybaeum, resigned his command in disgust, and left to Gisco the charge of conducting them from thence to Carthage. The latter prudently sent them over to Africa in separate detachments, in order that they might be paid off and disbanded severally; but the Carthaginian government, instead of following this wise course, waited till the whole body were reunited in Africa, and then endeavoured to induce them to compromise the amount due to them for arrears. The consequence was, the breaking out of a general mutiny among them, which ultimately led to the sanguinary civil war known by the name of the Inexpiable. The mutinous troops, to the number of 20,000, having occupied the city of Tunis, only twelve miles from Carthage, Gisco, who during his command in Sicily had made himself highly popular with the army, was deputed to them with full powers to satisfy all their demands. But this concession came too late. Those who had taken the lead in the meeting, apprehensive of being given up to vengeance, should any composition be effected, now exerted all their endeavours to inflame the minds of the soldiery, and urge them to the most unreasonable demands. Spendius and Matho, two of the most active of the ringleaders, had been appointed generals, and it was at their instigation that the troops, exasperated by an imprudent reply of Gisco to some of their demands, fell upon that general, seized the treasures thai he had brought with him, and threw him and his companions into prison. (Polyb. i. 66-70.) From this time the mercenaries, who were joined by almost all the native Africans subject to Carthage, waged open war against that city. Gisco and his fellow-prisoners remained in captivity for some time, until Spendius and Matho, alarmed at the successes of Hamilcar Barca, and apprehensive of the effects which the lenity he had shown towards his prisoners might produce among their followers, determined to cut them off from all hopes of pardon by involving them in the guilt of an atrocious cruelty. For this purpose they held a general assembly of their forces, in which, after alarming them by rumours of treachery, and exasperating them by inflammatory harangues, they induced them to decree, on the proposal of the Gaul Autaritus, that all the Carthiaginian prisoners should be put to death. The sentence was immediately executed in the most cruel manner upon Gisco and his fellow-captives, seven hundred in number. (Polyb. i. 79, 80.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Hannibal, was one of the Carthaginian officers at Lilybaeum during the siege of that city by the Romans. He was employed by the general, Himileo, to treat with the disaffected Gaulish mercenaries, and succeeded in inducing them to remain faithful. (Polyb. i 43.)

Hannibal the Rhodian

Hannibal. Surnamed the Rhodian, distinguished himself during the siege of Lilybaeum by the skill and daring with which he contrived to run in and out of the harbour of that place with his single ship, and thus keep up the communication of the besieged with Carthage, in spite of the vigilance of the Roman blockading squadron. At length, however, he fell into the hands of the enemy, who subsequently made use of his galley, of the swiftness of which they had had so much experience, as a model after which to construct their own. (Polyb. i. 46, 47; Zonar. viii. 15, who erroneously calls him Hanno.)

Hallibal, son of Hamilcar

Hallibal, son of Hamilcar, was chosen by the Carthaginians, as a distinguished naval officer and a friend of their admiral, Adherbal, to command the squadron destined for the relief of Lilybaeum in the 15th year of the first Punic War, B. C. 250. That city was at the time blockaded by the Romans both by sea and land ; but Hannibal, sailing from Carthage with fifty ships to the small islands of the Aegusae, lay there awaiting a favourable wind; and no sooner did this arise, than he put out to sea. and spreading all sail, stood straight into the harbour of Lily baeum. before the Romans could collect their ships to oppose him. He thus landed a force of 10,000 men besides large supplies of provisions; after which, again eluding the Romans, he repaired with his fleet to join that of Adherbal at Drepanum. His name is not mentioned as taking part in the great victory of that commander over P. Claudius in the following year (249), though it is probable that he was present, as immediately afterwards we find him detached, with a force of thirty ships, to Panormus, where he seized the Roman magazines of corn, and carried them off to Lilybaeum. (Polyb. i. 44, 46; Diod. Exc. Hoeschlel. xxiv. 1; Oros. iv. 10.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Dec 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Himilco. Commander of the Carthaginian forces at Lilybaeum during the first Punic war. At what time he was sent to Sicily does not appear, but we find him in command of Lilybaeum when the Romans, after the great victory of Metellus over Hasdrubal (B. C. 250), determined to form the siege of that important fortress. Himilco appears to have done all that an energetic and able officer could do: the forces under his command amounted to only 10,000 regular troops, while the Romans are said to have brought not less than 110,000 men to the siege; but this must, of course, include all who took part in the works, not merely the fighting men. Both consuls (C. Atilius and L. Manlius) were with the Roman army, and they carried on their operations with the utmost vigour, endeavouring to block up the port by a great mole, at the same time that they attacked the walls on the land side with battering rams and other engines. Himilco, on his side, though he had to contend with disaffection among the mercenaries under his own command, as well as with the enemy without the walls, was not less active; but he was unable to prevent the progress of the Roman works on the land: a great storm, however, swept away the mole that the Romans were constructing; and Hannibal, the son of Hamilcar, succeeded in running into the port with 50 ships and a force of 10,000 men, in the very teeth of the Roman fleet. Thus reinforced, Himilco renewed his attacks upon the works of the besiegers; and though repulsed in a first sally, he ultimately succeeded in burning all the battering engines and other works of the Romans. This decisive blow compelled the consuls to turn the siege into a blockade: nor were they able to make even this effectual, as they could not succeed in cutting off the besieged altogether from their communications by sea. The next year (B. C. 249) the great victory of Adherbal at Drepanum rendered the Carthaginians once more masters of the sea; and Himilco is again mentioned as co-operating with Carthalo after that event, in the attempt to destroy the Roman squadron, which still kept guard before Lilybaeum. The enterprise was only partially successful; but from this time the communications of the city by sea appear to have been perfectly open. The name of Himilco occurs once more in the following year as opposing the operations of the consuls Caecilius and Fabius, but this is the last we hear of him; and we have no means of judging how long he continued to hold the command of Lilybaeum, or when he was succeeded by Gisco, whom we find in that situation at the conclusion of the war. (Polyb. i. 41-48, 53; Diod. Exc. Hoeschel. xxiv. 1; Zonar. viii. 15, 16.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

You are able to search for more information in greater and/or surrounding areas by choosing one of the titles below and clicking on "more".

GTP Headlines

Receive our daily Newsletter with all the latest updates on the Greek Travel industry.

Subscribe now!
Greek Travel Pages: A bible for Tourism professionals. Buy online

Ferry Departures